Song of the Day: Bob Holz, “Palo Viejo”


Bob Holz assembles an all-star lineup for his latest album Holz-Stathis: Collaborative, which includes the track “Palo Viejo.”

Having played in the bands of Larry Coryell, Mike Stern and Stanley Clarke — and studied with drum masters Billy Cobham and Dave Weckl — Bob Holz knows a thing or two about fusion jazz. The Syracuse, New York, born drummer has been making a splash with his own groups and recordings and continues to attract stellar musicians into his orbit. A startling lineup of allstars assembles for the drummer’s latest release, Holz-Stathis: Collaborative (MVD Audio), including John McLaughlin, Jean Luc Ponty, Randy Brecker, Airto Moreira and Alex Acuna.

As might be inferred by the latter two names, Holz has great affection for Latin music, as well as fusion — percussion giants Moreira and Acuna have credits to spare in both those fields. That affection is evident on tracks such as “Palo Viejo,” which rides an intoxicating Latin groove propelled by congas, bass and drum set. Penned by guitarist and Holz collaborator Dean Brown, the tune features flute and horn solos and ensembles, and takes an intriguing turn into fusion territory. While “Palo Viejo” translates as “old stick,” the drummer certainly sounds vibrant here and throughout. The recording, which was produced by Rob Stathis, also features an outstanding cover of the Chicago staple “Make Me Smile,” featuring Elliot Yamin on lead vocals.

Listen to “Palo Viejo” via the player below. Holz-Stathis: Collaborative is available now. Order it here. You can also click here to listen to our JAZZIZ Podcast conversation with Bob Holz.

Featured photo courtesy of the artist.

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