Bill Holman on the dangers of success
NOW, A JAZZ MOMENT..
CD: In a Jazz Orbit
Originally released 1958, 1985 VSOP Records
NEA JAZZ MASTER BILL HOLMAN IS REGARDED AS ONE OF THE FINEST ARRANGERS IN JAZZ. HE'S RECEIVED THREE GRAMMYS, BEEN VOTED "BEST ARRANGER" 4 TIMES IN THE JAZZ TIMES READERS' POLL, AS WELL AS "ARRANGER OF THE YEAR" 3 TIMES IN THE DOWN BEAT READERS' AND CRITICS' POLLS.
Bill Holman: Talk about validation! That should be all the validation I need. But that's dangerous because if you get validated too hard you're liable to say, Well I've got this thing covered. I must be that good. So I can relax a little bit. I don't have to work so hard. And I can see a whole bunch of pedestrian kind of music coming out just on that basis.
After I lay off for more than 2 weeks and I come back to it, it's like I say, I just don't know how to do this. And I remind myself I've been doing it for 60 years, you do know how. So I say, OK. And I grudgingly sit there and I put in my time. But it's a matter of putting in time I guess before it comes back. And coming up with a new piece is a matter of putting on time. I may have an idea for a phrase, but that phrase has to be spun out into a complete phrase. And then a chorus. And many choruses making an arrangement.
MUSIC: up and fades
THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH COMPOSER AND ARRANGER BILL HOLMAN WAS CREATED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE FARTS. AND NOW, IN THE WORDS OF MY BOY... PARTING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW, THAT I SHALL SAY GOOD NIGHT TILL IT BE MORROW.