RELEASE DATE:  June 14, 2024 Palmetto Records

Acclaimed composer/arranger Mike Holober creates an epic masterwork melding jazz, classical and art song for his Grammy-nominated Gotham Jazz Orchestra

Due out June 14, 2024 via Palmetto Records, "This Rock We're On: Imaginary Letters" draws inspiration from the natural world and the insights of environmental authors, artists, and activists such as Ansel Adams, Rachel Carson, Sigurd Olson, Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams, and Robin Wall Kimmerer

Featuring Holober's GRAMMY-nominated Gotham Jazz Orchestra, soloists include Jason Rigby (tenor saxophone), Ben Kono (alto saxophone), Charles Pillow (alto saxophone), Marvin Stamm (trumpet), Jared Schonig (drums), Nir Felder (guitar), Jody Redhage Ferber (cello) and James Shipp (percussion). The ensemble is joined for the occasion by tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist John Patitucci, and the up-and-coming Brazilian vocalist Jamile Staevie Ayres

This Rock We're On: Imaginary Letters

Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra

“This Rock We’re On: Imaginary Letters” is a new multi-movement work by acclaimed composer Mike Holober, written for the GRAMMY-nominated Gotham Jazz Orchestra. Inspired by the insights of environmental authors, artists, and activists such as Ansel Adams, Rachel Carson, Sigurd Olson, Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams, and Robin Wall Kimmerer,
“This Rock We’re On: Imaginary Letters” is a new multi-movement work by acclaimed composer Mike Holober, written for the GRAMMY-nominated Gotham Jazz Orchestra. Inspired by the insights of environmental authors, artists, and activists such as Ansel Adams, Rachel Carson, Sigurd Olson, Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams, and Robin Wall Kimmerer, it is a meditation on the beauty of nature and the fate of the planet.
Read more…

TRACKS 
Disc 1

  1. Lay of the Land 
    Chris Potter – tenor sax
  2. On This Rock (imaginary letter from Wendell Berry)
    Mark Patterson - trombone
  3. Dirt Lover’s Almanac (for Wendell Berry)
    John Patitucci – bass; Charles Pillow – alto sax
  4. Another Summer (imaginary letter from Rachel Carson to Dorothy Freeman)
  5. Tides (For Rachel Carson)
    Jody Redhage Ferber – cello; Jason Rigby – tenor sax
  6. Another Summer Epilogue (imaginary letter from Dorothy Freeman to Rachel Carson)
  7. To Virginia (Poem by Ansel Adams to Virginia Best Adams)
  8. Dear Virginia (for Ansel Adams)
    Virginia Mayhew - tenor sax; Marvin Stamm - trumpet; Mike Holober - piano
  9. Domes (for Ansel Adams)
    Ben Kono – alto sax; Scott Wendholt - trumpet

TRACKS
Disc 2

  1. Refuge (imaginary letter from Castleton Tower to Terry Tempest Williams)
  2. Tower Pulse (for Castleton Tower)
    Chris Potter – tenor sax; Nir Felder - guitar
  3. Erosion (for Terry Tempest Williams)
    Nir Felder – guitar
  4. Three Words for Snow (imaginary letter from Sigurd Olson)
  5. Boundary Waters (for Sigurd Olson)
    Mike Holober – piano; Jason Rigby --tenor sax
  6. Noetry (imaginary letter from a tree to Robin Wall Kimmerer)
  7. Skywoman Falling (for Robin Wall Kimmerer)
    Jody Redhage Ferber – cello; Charles Pillow – bass flute; Marvin Stamm - flugelhorn
  8. This Rock We’re On (imaginary letter from a child)
    Carl Maraghi – baritone sax; Nir Felder guitar; Jason Rigby – tenor sax

"The tunes featuring the vocalist provide a compelling contrast with the Gotham Jazz Orchestra’s instrumental selections (the bulk of the two-disc recording)—against pieces such as ‘Domes,' an exultant big band statement, and 'Tower Pulse,' a masterful work of sleek modernism. In this juxtaposition, Holober’s talents as a composer for both a large ensemble and an intimate voice cannot be underestimated: these are magnificent expositions both musically and literarily.” 
– Suzanne Lorge, NYC Jazz Record

 

"This is music that is both profound in its depth—among the soloists featured are Chris Potter on tenor saxophone, John Patitucci on bass and Marvin Stamm on trumpet—and its message.” 
– Robert C. Gilbert, Listening Sessions

PERSONNEL
Mike Holober - composer, lyricist, piano, Fender Rhodes
Jamile Staevie Ayres - voice
Jody Redhage Ferber – cello
Ronan Rigby – child voice on This Rock We’re On

Saxophones/Woodwinds
Charles Pillow - alto, soprano, flute, alto flute, bass flute, clarinet
Ben Kono - alto, soprano, flute, alto flute, clarinet (flute on Three Words for Snow)
Jason Rigby - tenor, soprano, flute, clarinet
Adam Kolker - tenor, soprano, flute, clarinet
Chris Potter - tenor, clarinet (Lay of the Land, Tower Pulse)
Virginia Mayhew - tenor (Dear Virginia, Dirt Lover’s Almanac)
Carl Maraghi - baritone, bass clarinet

Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Tony Kadleck
Liesl Whitaker
Marvin Stamm
Scott Wendholt
Stuart Mack (Skywoman Falling, Tower Pulse)

Trombones
Matt McDonald
Mark Patterson
Alan Ferber (Erosion, Domes, Boundary Waters)
Jason Jackson (Tides, Dirt Lover’s Almanac, Skywoman Falling)
Sara Jacovino (Lay of the Land, Tower Pulse, This Rock We’re On)
Jeff Nelson - bass trombone

Rhythm Section
Nir Felder - guitar
John Patitucci - bass, electric bass
Jared Schonig - drums
James Shipp - vibraphone, percussion, synth, voice