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Dave Holland: Consistently Exceptional

By Published: July 6, 2009
Fortunately, Holland remains a very busy man, working steadily and juggling his various projects quite well. While his big band is on hold at the moment, he says the next thing might be another CD, which would make it easier to get gigs for the large group. The success of that outfit has been a very pleasant surprise.

"If you said to me 20 years ago that I would be able to go out on the road with a big band, I'd have had some serious doubts. Or that I'd write any music for a bid band. That was a big challenge to me, as well. It took me a long time for me to get up the courage to do it."

Dave HollandI've always worked a lot. It's not always been financially successful. We've managed to sustain a working band since 1982. In the last 10 or 12 years, we've gotten a lot more options and choices. I've even had the opportunity to be on the road with a big band, which is a fairly challenging situation in this day and age. That was one of the opportunities I had, which I was very happy it came a about as a result of increased interest in what we were doing.

"We're going to keep the quintet project going," he says. "It hasn't worked as much as it has in the past, this last year. But it's still going and it's still something all five people involved in it are interested in continuing ... We're getting ready to do something this fall and we did something early this year. It's been together 10 or 11 years. Even though, creatively, we're still writing music for it and doing gigs together, there's also a need on all our parts to do other things. Chris [Potter] has his own project as does Robin [Eubanks]. Steve [Nelson] and Nate [Smith] have their own things that they're doing, as well as things with other people. My idea is to keep the quintet as an ongoing group, but also have some additional things.

Holland appreciates the great roll he's been on, but is very level-headed. He's humble about it, not about to rest on laurels, and not about to think that things are always going to be rosy.

"I feel very fortunate to have gotten to this point where I can think about doing something and actually find a way to get it happening. I'm enjoying that opportunity and trying to make the most of it while it's still there."

Selected Discography

The Monterey Quartet, Live at the 2007 Jazz Festival

Dave Holland Quintet, Pass It On (Dare2, 2008)

Dave Holland Big Band Dave Holland Quintet, Critical Mass (Dare2, 2006)

Dave Holland Big Band, Overtime (Dare2, 2005)

Kenny Wheeler, What Now? (CamJazz, 2005)

Dave Holland Quintet, Extended Play: Live at Birdland (ECM, 2003)

Dave Holland Big Band, What Goes Around (ECM, 2002)

Dave Holland Quintet, Not for Nothin' (ECM, 2001)

Dave Holland Quintet, Prime Directive (ECM, 1999)

Dave Holland Quintet, Points of View (ECM, 1998)

Dave Holland Quartet, Dream of the Elders (ECM, 1996)

Michael Brecker, Tales from the Hudson (Impulse!, 1996)

Gateway, Homecoming (ECM, 1995)

Dave Holland Quartet, Extensions (ECM, 1990)

Pat Metheny/Dave Holland/Roy Haynes, Question and Answer (Geffen, 1989)

Dave Holland Trio, Triplicate (ECM, 1988)

Dave Holland Quintet, The Razor's Edge (ECM, 1987)

Dave Holland Quintet, Seeds of Time (ECM, 1985)

Dave Holland Quintet, Jumpin' In (ECM, 1984)

Dave Holland, Life Cycle (ECM, 1983)

Dave Holland, Emerald Tears (ECM, 1978)

Kenny Wheeler, Gnu High (ECM, 1975)

Dave Holland Quartet, Conference of the Birds (ECM, 1973)

Miles Davis, Bitches Brew (Columbia/Legacy, 1969)

Miles Davis, In a Silent Way (Columbia/Legacy, 1969)

Photo Credits

Top Photo: Rogan Coles

Center Photo: Andreas Eisler

Bottom Photo: Ben Johnson

Featured Story Photo: Justin Oakman Photography

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