Like Duke Ellington and Gerry Mulligan before him, composer and bandleader Mike Holober loves trains, so their influence comes across (along with that of Bob Brookmeyer) in many of his compositions on the CD Thought Trains. Including some of the finest session musicians available in New York City (who make up the Gotham Jazz Orchestra), the big band devours his enticing charts whole. "Jump Down, Spin Around" is a terrific opener, centered around Pat Hallaran's blistering trombone solo, along with fine efforts by trumpeter Scott Wendholt, alto saxophonist Jon Gordon, and soprano saxophonist Tim Ries. The funky "Big Sky" is tinged with a Latin rhythm, showcasing tenor saxophonist Charles Pillow. Veteran bassist Ron Carter shares the spotlight with the leader for the tasty "Waltz Medium." The rhythm of "Thought Trains" obviously suggests travel by railway, with frequent changes of scenery as one travels along its path. Although it took nearly eight years for this to be released, it was well worth the wait.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden