Asian-American baritone saxophonist Fred Ho has been a champion of freedom and expressionism in modern creative jazz for some time. A continuing battle with cancer has inspired him to assemble the Green Monster Big Band, with reference to the famed left-field wall at Fenway Park in Boston, but more directly related to the huge sound and diverse ideas this juggernaut ensemble represents. Ho is influenced by the '60s big bands, television or movie themes, and the psychedelic rock he grew up with, all present on this ambitious program.
During the war against advanced colo-rectal cancer (from 2006), which included two primary tumors and two recurrences, Fred Ho, hammered by massive chemo and radiation, found inspiration in the fight for his life from watching movies of The Greatest, Muhammad Ali. Ali s bold, militant, defiant and spirited resistance to the forces of American racism, combined with his élan, grace and humor (both poetical and personal), his indisputable athletic abilities and genius, and the inspiration to the world s peoples (especially the oppressed) and their embrace of him, served as constant inspiration to Fred Ho. During one of his recovery periods, Ho decided to compose a work for his Green Monster Big Band to honor The Greatest.