What do Wild West scores, Vegas crooners and West African polyrhythms have in common? They’re all part of ALIBI’s newly released trio of albums composed by Darius Holbert, exemplifying his incredible creative range. We turned to Holbert – one of our trusted, long-time composing partners – knowing he had just the aptitude to field such an eclectic series of requests.
“I love all music. I can say that now because I’ve even finally come around on late ’90s dancehall,” Holbert explained with a laugh. “I spend most days jumping between multiple genres on numerous projects, recording my takes on venerated masters of tiny sub-genres, and I love every minute. Having to write in just one genre seems like a life barely lived, so I welcome all album requests, even (especially) if I don’t know a lot about it yet. It’s like traveling the world without having to pack.”
Holbert’s newest production music albums for ALIBI -- “Vegas Crooner,” “Highlife” and “Classic Western 2” – are about as different from each other as they come, and the inspiration behind them reveals his artistry, passion and sense of humor:
Classic Western 2 (15 tracks, 525 audio files)
Holbert: “My very first LP was given to me when I was 3: Alfred Newman’s ‘How the West Was Won.’ My favorite composer is Aaron Copland, my favorite genre to score is Western film, and I was born and raised in Texas. For this album, all I had to do was get out of bed and put on my spurs.”
Album Description: Galloping, heroic Western music to evoke the Wild West and legends of the frontier. All of the instrumentation you'd expect is here, from ripping French horns and trumpets to acoustic guitar and playful flutes to rolling timpani and marching snares, galloping castanets and more.
Vegas Crooner (12 tracks, 437 audio files)
Holbert: “I listen to easy listening/pop/jazz from the ‘40s to the ‘70s constantly when I’m not working, and especially when I’m cooking. I was thrilled to get to write Basie-style charts for ‘50s pop tunes and drum up my best impression of Ol’ Blue Eyes and the fellers, so I broke out the ruffled tux and tried not to get any marinara in my martini.”
Album Description: Silky smooth jazz songs inspired by the greats, such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin and many more. Featuring full lyrical vocal performances, each of these tracks includes swinging brushed drums, upright acoustic bass and tasteful pianos mixed with string and brass arrangements.
Highlife (15 tracks, 480 audio files)
Holbert: “I’m wild for this kind of West African music; it’s a nonstop party! The polyrhythms are so complex that I even took a few classes with a renowned Ghanaian drummer a while back. But most of the time I spent on this album, I just studied the greats and tried to emulate even a little of their genius.”
Album Description: Infectiously rhythmic cues inspired by traditional Ghanaian and West African High Life music, driven by frantic djembes, shakers and percussion, and topped with high pitched plucky clean guitars and hypnotic bass lines.
ALIBI’s production music featuring composer Darius Holbert has been used in the national commercials for such recognized brands as, and , among numerous others.