Dave Holland's Prism Copenhagen Jazzhouse Copenhagen, Denmark July 10, 2014 In jazz, forming a new group gives the possibility of finding a new musical expression, but it can also be a way of returning to one's musical roots. In the case of bassist Dave Holland's group Prism, it is actually both of these things. The group has brought Holland back in touch with the electrifying fusion that he created with trumpeter Miles Davis on such legendary records as In a Silent Way (Columbia, 1969) and Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970), but the music also reflects ...read more
Bassist Dave Holland first became a leader-on-record with Conference Of The Birds (ECM, 1973), a now-classic outré quartet session. That initial leader date portrayed Holland as a restless seeker, willing and eager to explore the inner workings of group dynamics and the outer reaches of convention, and he's done little to alter that perception of himself in the intervening years. Holland has, with band after band and album after album, continually broadened his outlook, creating a vast and enviable body of work along the way. Now, he celebrates four decades of leadership by introducing another potent foursome to the world. ...read more
Dave Holland ResidencySan Francisco Jazz CenterSan Francisco, CAFebruary 7-10, 2013Dave Holland was beaming ear to ear. And he had every reason to be, as the 66-year-old bassist was center stage helping to inaugurate a magnificent new hall, the showplace of the San Francisco Jazz Festival. The past two weeks had marked the first that the center had been open, and while a multitude of acts had performed, these had been special as opposed to regularly scheduled performances. Holland's solo performance marked the first of his residency--a four-night stint that saw him perform solo, in duet, ...read more
There will be no more opportunities to experience saxophonist Sam Rivers, who passed away in 2011, at 89. Then again, you probably hadn't caught him live in decades, since he chose to live in Florida from the early 1990s, although he did release several large ensemble sessions. His 1960s Blue Note Records and 70s Impulse! dates continue to be treasured classics. What ardent fans and collectors look for these days are his trio LPs with bassist Dave Holland and drummer Barry Altschul. Long out-of-print and treasure-seekers booty, these historic (yet obscure) sounds from Rivers' 1970s trio delineated a new path ...read more
Dave Holland Big BandPainted Bride Art CenterPhiladelphia, PADecember 11, 2010 Bassist and jazz music legend Dave Holland says he is a believer in the communal spirit of music and, judging by the scope of talent in his Big Band--as well as the enthusiastic capacity crowd at his shows at the Painted Bride Arts Center in Philadelphia on Dec. 11--the community is happy to embrace his vision.Although it only makes a few appearances a year, Dave Holland's Big Band has two Grammy Award-winning albums under its belt, and features a virtual who's who" ...read more
Standing onstage in the auditorium of the Philadelphia School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), a lanky, grey-haired gentleman stands by the piano, directing a small group of student musicians playing Herbie Hancock's Cantaloupe Island."He stops the song during the trumpet solo and says to the student in a British accent, Did you listen to the recording?"The student looks at his feet and replies, No." You always have to listen to the recording first when you're playing a song," the gentleman says, in a decidedly non-condescending manner. It gives you so much direction." He ...read more
The music on Hands, featuring stellar turns primarily from Spanish guitarist Pepe Habichuela and British-born bassist Dave Holland, is quite simply one of the most captivating on record. It is completely an alternative to style, to mere virtuosity, and to angelic grace and charm, as dictated by a muse. This music is the epitomé of the darkly beautiful magnetism of duende, and comes not from the hands and the fingers of the musicians, but rather from their innermost being--from the very soul of the artists. It aims its hypnotic corkscrew at the mind's eye, aiming myriad arrows of unbridled and ...read more
Sometimes the best indicator of an artist's versatility is in the side projects they accept. Bassist Dave Holland's career could hardly be described as monolithic, with his discography as a leader--ranging from his quintet (Critical Mass (Dare2, 2006)) to his big band (Overtime (Dare2, 2005)) --nothing short of but exemplary. Still, some of the most unexpected revelations have come on peripheral dates, such as Mid-Eastern-informed Thimar (ECM, 1998), with Tunisian oudist Anouar Brahem and British reed man John Surman, or the aptly named World Trio (Intuition, 1995), featuring guitarist Kevin Eubanks and percussionist Mino Cinelu. When Holland shares the marquee, ...read more
Centuries old, an accretion of musics absorbed by north Indian migrants as they travelled, one stream through the Balkans, the other through the Maghreb, towards their final desination in southern Spain, flamenco is not easy for a non-Gypsy convincingly to perform. Intricately codified, rich in lore and tradition, its broad mannerisms can be mimicked quickly enough, but to inhabit its soul, its cante jondo (deep song), takes much, much longer. Some would say a lifetime, more or less. British bassist Dave Holland would probably be the first to deny he's any sort of flamenco master, but the truth ...read more
With bassist Dave Holland setting up the foundation for the band, during the live taping of Pathways at New York's Birdland in 2009, the rest of the octet paves the way for baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan to develop the title track in the similar vein to his earlier big band recording What Goes Around (ECM, 2002).
At first it's possible to imagine listening to the entire big band due to the fullness of the sound. Some of its core musicians continue that style with the familiar Holland approach, accentuated by Smulyan as well as saxophonists Chris Potter and Antonio Hart, ...read more
Dave Holland QuintetBirdlandNew York, NYApril 20, 2010The Dave Holland Quintet (DHQ) is one of those rarest of things in jazz--a working group. These days, due to a number of factors (cough$$cough), jazz musicians are spread very thin in terms of the number of projects they participate in. They jump fluidly from project to project, sideman gig to leader, studio to club. Frequently they don't even have time to rehearse before a gig with musicians whom they've never played with before. Luckily, there is a standard jazz language," and these musicians are consummate professionals, so there ...read more
Bassist Dave Holland's main creative vehicle has long been the Dave Holland Quintet, but in recent years he's launched a number of other groups, tweaking and expanding instrumentation while preserving something of the quintet's signature sound. On Pathways, recorded live at Birdland in 2009, Holland takes another detour with the Dave Holland Octet, which splits the difference between his quintet and big band in terms of size, texture and orchestrated thrust. Incidentally, Holland switched from ECM Records to his own Dare2 label in 2005 and the somber green and blue hues of his ECM album art have ...read more
Dave Holland Octet Pathways Dare2 Records 2010
It's been nearly four years since bassist Dave Holland has delivered an album based around his enduring quintet of over a decade. Since 2006's Critical Mass (Dare2), he's released Pass It On (Dare2, 2008) and The Monterey Quartet: Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey Jazz Festival Records, 2009), both featuring ensembles where, for the first time in his lengthy career, the bassist collaborated with pianists. While both discs were as exhilarating and groove-heavy as anything he's done, the inherent chemistry of his quintet--powerhouse ...read more
Supergroups thrown together for jazz festivals are, as a general rule, a disappointment. The chemistry of a regular working unit is usually missing, and they tend to resort to theme-solo-theme" weariness. Not so when the supergroup is made up of dedicated composers and listeners such as The Monterey Quartet, assembled on the occasion of Monterey's 50th anniversary celebration concerts in 2007.
Bassist Dave Holland, together with two familiar players--Chris Potter and Eric Harland--are joined by the Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba. In a quartet setting, each player carries equal weight both on playing and, in this case, composing. Each ...read more
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