Not quite as well-known as the World Saxophone Quartet or the Rova Saxophone Quartet, the PRISM Quartet practices a unique approach to this category of ensemble playing. In part, PRISM takes a more direct aim on improvisation as opposed to the more blended method of WSQ or the openly free style of Rova. More idiosyncratic is the evolution of the quartet over three decades. When tenor player Matthew Levy founded the group in Michigan, its original mission was specific to ...read more
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 ...read more
Although ΓΌber-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" ...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 ...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 ...read more