Milt Holland

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Milt Holland
Birth name Milton Olshansky
Born (1917-02-07)February 7, 1917
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died November 4, 2005(2005-11-04) (aged 88)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums, percussion, congas, bongos, timbales, tambourine, triangle, shaker, pandeiro, vibraphone, marimba, gong, maracas, tabla, temple blocks, bell-tree, slapstick, wind chimes, xylophone, tubular bells, claves, bells, sleigh bells, cabasa, cimbalom, gourd, African percussion

Milton "Milt" Holland (born Milton Olshansky; February 7, 1917 – November 4, 2005) was an American drummer, percussionist, ethnic musicologist, and writer in the Los Angeles music scene. He pioneered the use of African, South American, and Indian percussion styles in jazz, pop and film music; traveling extensively in those regions to collect instruments and to learn the musical styles of playing them.

Early life[edit]

Holland was born Milton Olshansky in Chicago, Illinois, where he attended Theodore Roosevelt High School. His first instrument was violin. Milt pursued his passion for percussion, playing in clubs and shows as well as on CBS Radio in Chicago. By the age of twelve, he was playing at speakeasys for the likes of Al Capone.

Career[edit]

In the early 1940s, Holland toured and recorded with The Raymond Scott Orchestra.

He studied tabla at UCLA and with Ramnad Easwaran. In India, Holland studied with tabla master Chatur Lal beginning in 1963. He traveled through India extensively in the early 1960s and 1970s, then spent many years in Africa studying tribal rhythms. He was among the first to introduce the instruments to western recording.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1946, he played on countless jazz and pop albums, film and TV scores. A sampling of the artists he worked with includes Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Chaka Khan, John Williams, Leonard Bernstein, Elmer Bernstein, Quincy Jones, Nat King Cole, Henry Mancini, Loggins and Messina, James Taylor, Ella Fitzgerald, Laurindo Almeida, Ry Cooder and Joni Mitchell. He played Pandeiro and Triangle on Mitchell's hit Big Yellow Taxi and Congas and Percussion on Light My Fire with José Feliciano.

As part of the so-called "Wrecking Crew," Holland won countless gold and platinum records for his contributions. He was perhaps most proud of having helped desegregate the Los Angeles Musicians Union. Eventually, Holland became the first choice for exotic percussion among Los Angeles freelance session musicians.

In films, Holland can be heard playing bongos on soundtracks for West Side Story, and timpani on Silent Running, to name only a tiny fraction of his output. He was featured along with seven illustrious percussionists on John Wayne's Hatari!, which included Shelly Manne, Jack Sperling, and Larry Bunker playing African instruments on The Sounds of Hatari and its title track. He is also heard on the soundtrack for the TV mini-series Roots, the nose tinkle on Bewitched, and Tinker Bell in the Disney cartoon Peter Pan.

Death and personal life[edit]

Holland died in Los Angeles at the age of 88. He was survived by his wife Mildred Holland, his sons, Richard Holland and Robert Holland, his grandchildren, Damien and Chloe, and Richard's wife Seiko.[1]

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Gregg Allman

With Laurindo Almeida

  • Ole! Bossa Nova (1962)
  • Brazil & Beyond (1981)
  • Brazilian Soul (1981)
  • Acapulco '22

With Hoyt Axton

  • Less Than The Song (2007)
  • Life Machine (2007)

With Joan Baez

With Burt Bacharach

  • Blue Note Plays Burt Bacharach (1968)

With Elmer Bernstein

With Elvin Bishop

  • Rock My Soul (1972)

With Bonaroo

  • Bonaroo (Wounded Bird)

With Charlie Byrd

  • Best Of The Concord Years (2000)

With Captain Beefheart

With Buddy Childers

  • Sam Songs (1955)

With Stanley Clarke

With Rosemary Clooney

With Joe Cocker

  • Joe Cocker (1969)
  • Best of Joe Cocker (2000)
  • Gold

With Ray Conniff

  • Friendly Persuasion (1965)

With Ry Cooder

With Rita Coolidge

With Bing Crosby

With Jackie Davis

  • Hammond Goes Cha-Cha (Album -1959)

With Buddy DeFranco

  • I Hear Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw
  • Wholly Cats

With Doug Dillard

  • Banjo Album (1969)

With Doobie Brothers

With Percy Faith

  • Black Magic Woman (1971)

With Victor Feldman

  • Secret Of The Andes (1982)

With Jose Feliciano

With The 5th Dimension

  • Age of Aquarius (1969)
  • Individually & Collectively (1972)
  • Living Together Growing Together (1972)

With Jerry Fielding

  • Jerry Fielding and his Orchestra (1953)

With Ella Fitzgerald

With Four Freshmen

  • Voices In Latin (1958)
  • The Freshman Year (1958)

With Jackie Gleason

  • The Now Sound For Today's Lovers

With Graham Central Station

With Arlo Guthrie

With Dirk Hamilton

  • You Can Sing on the Left or Bark on the Right

With Richard Harris

With Joni James

  • Like Three O'Clock In The Morning (1963)
  • After Hours (1963)

With Pete Jolly

With Claudia Lennear

  • Phew (1973)

With Little Feat

With Kenny Loggins

With Loggins & Messina

With Henry Mancini

  • The Latin Sound Of Henry Mancini (1965)
  • Mancini '67 (1966)
  • Mancini Salutes Sousa (1972)

With Johnny Mandel

With Herbie Mann

With Melanie

With Joni Mitchell

With The Monkees

With Randy Newman

With Harry Nilsson

With Anita O'Day

With Gabby Pahinui

  • Best Of The Gabby Band (1971–1979)

With Van Dyke Parks

With Oscar Peterson

With Poco

  • The Best of Poco (2000)

With Dean Martin

  • Young Dino

With Ray Peterson

With Bill Plummer

  • Cosmic Brotherhood (1968)

With Bonnie Raitt

With Rufus with Chaka Khan

With Sanford & Townsend

  • Duo-Glide

With Lalo Schifrin

With Seals & Crofts

With John Sebastian

  • Tarzana Kid

With Bud Shank / Clare Fischer / Joe Pass

  • Brasamba! (1963)

With Ravi Shankar

  • Charly: Original Soundtrack Recording (1968)

With Carly Simon

With Frank Sinatra

With Nancy Sinatra

  • Cherry Smiles: The Rare Singles (2009)

With Phil Spector

With Ringo Starr

With Barbra Streisand

With James Taylor

With Bill Thomson

  • Fantabulous (1957)

With Cal Tjader

With Various Artists

  • Samba do Avião
  • A Jazz Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim

With Nancy Wilson

With Paul Winter

  • Icarus (1972)

Soundtracks[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Milt Holland Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 

External links[edit]