Two instruments that bassist Dave Holland has rarely incorporated into his projects have been piano and guitar, his only guitar-centric album coming sixteen years after his first release as a leader, Conference of the Birds (ECM, 1973), when he recruited Kevin Eubanks for a particularly powerful set on Extensions (ECM, 1989). It took Holland even longer--nearly a quarter- century, in fact--before piano first surfaced on Pass It On (Dare2, 2008), with the recently deceased Mulgrew Miller, though Holland would subsequently turn to piano again with Gonzalo Rubalcaba on The Monterey Quartet: Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey Jazz ...read more
Although über-bassist Dave Holland made his bones with one of Miles Davis' early electric bands, the lion's share of the British native's own music has come from the acoustic side of the scale. As such, longtime Holland fans will receive a major shock with their first listen to Prism. Those fans will need open ears and patience; everyone else just needs a volume control that goes to 11. The opening Fender Rhodes vamp on Kevin Eubanks' The Watcher" comes straight out of jam-band fave Chris Potter's Underground--not surprising, given that it's CPU keyboardist Craig Taborn making the noise. ...read more
The PRISM quartet offers a fresh update to the now long-standing tradition of saxophone quartet playing. The all-saxophone core rarely stands alone on Real Standard Time: instead, they draw upon an indie all-star cast of supporting players to round out their sound. When the group operates at its leanest, much of the material obeys formal arrangement and coordinated dynamics. However, as things develop, they break apart and segment into patterns of open improvisation and interplay.
As opposed to groups like the World Saxophone Quartet, PRISM is less interested in the interface between swing and free jazz. Instead, they prefer to ...read more
Here is pre-Hands aka Prism in an earliest 1975-76 incarnation and the 1976-77 near-Hands form that finally coalesced into Hands. Get a sneek peak at the raw and true life of a band struggling to be heard through noisy nite club chatter, apathetic ping pong ball echoes, local Texas radio shows, live and in the studio.Prism plays mostly original tunes but does cover Gentle Giant’s “Plain Truth” and King Crimson’s “Great Deceiver”. Their Crimson cover is impressive, even in such a raw format and Prism sings as good as if not better than Wetton. The best offering of ...read more
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