Heart and Soul is the best way to describe the way Malcolm Holley plays. With a sax in his hands, the echoes of the greats from the past can be heard. At Cass Tech High School (Class of 79) in Detroit, he led all of the jazz solos, even though he could not read music and was not a part of the music department. He made his own schedule with his teacher’s in order to play. He also played in local clubs around Detroit. After graduation from high school, he attended Eastern Michigan University. He soon found himself playing clubs in and around the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor area. At Eastern, he hooked up with an up and coming singer named Mark Mitchell, who opened a show for Al Hudson & One Way on Eastern Campus. This partnership produced many shows and many records.
After graduating from Eastern Michigan University, Malcolm started performing all over the Detroit area. He did horn work and performed with local rock group “Rhythm Corps”. He formed his own group that featured Jazz Drummer Gayelynn McKinney. He also recorded with Mad Mike Banks and Underground Resistance.
A move to Chicago found him doing music for TV production, which was shown on cable TV. With Grace Production, he wrote some music for the Chicago Matters series on WTTW Channel 11. He wrote music for an award winning video program by Ronald Holt titled, The Human Race: HIV/Aids in Chicago’s Black Community, which won the Center for New Television Voice and Visionary Award. Chicago’s local blues scene also had the pleasure of hearing Malcolm’s robust sound. As the saxophone player for Sam Cockrell & the Groove, they opened for some of Chicago’s top blues acts including A.C. Reed, Maurice John Vaughn, and Detroit Junior.
His debut CD, “Mad about Sax” showcases his songwriting and playing abilities.