Joe Holiday (ts), Blue Mitchell, Thad Jones, Art Farmer, Joe Newman (tp), Eddie Bert (tb), Cecil Payne (bs), Johnny Acea, Duke Jordan (p), Wendell Marshall, Addison Farmer (b), Max Roach, Osie Johnson, Art Taylor (d)
Reference: FSRCD 439
Bar code: 8427328604390
Italian born tenor saxophonist Joe Holiday (Sicily, Italy, 1925) had his own group in Newark, N.J. by the time he was twenty and, by and large, he was a leader from then on. As a soloist, his main influences, Stan Getz and Wardell Gray, shaped much of his playing, although he was always distinctly his own man. Clearly one of the least exploited musicians in jazz, literally overlooked in the big name scramble, he was also, however, surprisingly successful, recording with various sized groups bursting with great jazzmen. The significant factor in his success, as modest as it may seem, was a considered maturity which enabled him to recognize jazz as both an art form and a business, and to operate with maximum integrity and efficiency within both those aspects.
"Holiday for Jazz pairs Joe Holiday with a fairly remarkable supporting cast including trumpeters Thad Jones and Blue Mitchell, pianist Duke Jordan, and drummer Max Roach -- given the tenorist's slim discography, it may seem like sacrilege that his name is out in front, but the efficiency and imagination of his solos make plain the true range of his talent. Holiday is a bold player who achieves a fine balance between the cerebral demands of modern jazz and the physical muscle of R&B, and while material like "Mimi the Champ," "Timmy's Tune," and "Skeetie" may be slight, the sheer force of the accumulated talent renders such arguments moot. (The Fresh Sound label's 2007 reissue appends the 1953 date Joe Holiday & His Band)."
Jason Ankeny -All Music Guide