Hold On


John gunther - alto saxophone
johan eriksson- alto saxophone
fred hess - tenor saxophone
dominic lalli - tenor saxophone
mark harris - baritone saxophone

brad goode - trumpet
dave rajewski - trumpet
al hood - trumpet
ron miles - trumpet

tom ball - trombone
nelson hinds - trombone
hoyt andres - trombone
gary mayne - bass trombone

marc sabetella - piano
ken filiano - bass
matt wilson - drums

tyler gilmore conductor

LISTEN TO: Good Question


  • Good Question
  • For Thomas
  • Hold On
  • Sicilienne/Greensleeves
  • Opposites Attract
  • A Night to Remember
  • Pretty Little Gypsy/Chuggin'
  • On Perry Street
  • RBHM____KNNK
  • The Clef's Visit Grandma's
  • Knitwit For Tara


Check out the other CDs!  


“Hold On provides a dramatic display of innovative sounds, rooted in the modern big-band tradition yet moving beyond the expected. Hess' music is passionate and nuanced, sophisticated and fun. This big band from the middle of America, conducted by Tyler Gilmore, is the equal of anything you might find on either coast.”

-Norman Provizer, Down Beat and KUVO-FM

Fantastic solos abound by trumpeter Ron Miles, alto saxophonist John Gunther, trombonists Tom Ball and Nelson Hinds, Filiano and, of course, Hess. The sound of the tenorist breaking out in front of the ensemble for a solo is a marvelous experience-the gorgeous fluidity of his voice, the labyrinthine stories he tells, twisting and turning from one surprise to the next, wrapping up with off-kilter, Hess-ian logic.

-Dan McClenaghan, allaboutjazz.com

In the course of the disc's 77 minutes, sound worlds are opened up through a well-honed collaborative spirit that includes voices as distinctive as trumpeters Ron Miles and Brad Goode, drummer Matt Wilson (himself one of the best current bandleaders in the jazz community) and pianist Marc Sabatella. But it's Hess' saxophone that is springboard to the most creative, fully realized solos on "Hold On." While he has put out a reliable string of admired small group efforts in recent years, his expressiveness really shines in the context of this larger palette.

-Bret Saunders,Denver Post

Compared to the recent spate of creative big band records, such as Darcy James Argue's Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam, 2009) and John Hollenbeck's Eternal Interlude (Sunnyside, 2009), Hold On hems closer to established traditions. It eschews electronics and popular music forms for tried and true devices that continue to quicken the pulse and lift the spirits.

-Troy Collins, allaboutjazz.com

if this doesn't move you to grab the rail ("hold on", eh?) & hang for dear life, I surely don't know what will. It's the title track, "Hold On" that cinched up my love of this adventure, though... every second will excite you, and you'll dig just how vibrant jazz in a "big way" can be.

-Improvijazzation Nation