442

Dave Holland Quintet: Critical Mass

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Holland Quintet: Critical Mass This particular lineup of Dave Holland's longstanding quintet had apparently been working for eighteen months prior to recording this disc, and that simple fact oozes out of every note played. There is a level of cohesion and empathy here that arguably can come only from such longstanding associations.

Holland is anything but despotic in his leadership responsibilities, and every member of the group gets a composer's credit here. The result is a diversity of approaches that makes for rewarding listening, and there is an object lesson in this for countless other groups working in this modern mainstream field.

In addition to Holland's bass, the rhythm section is rounded out by Steve Nelson, principally on vibes, though he makes some telling contributions on marimba, and drummer Nate Smith. They give the music an airy, perhaps understated quality, at times taking in earthy funk in a satisfyingly contradictory way, while Robin Eubanks' trombone takes the music in the same direction. The resulting balance is down entirely to the musical personalities of the players involved.

This is perhaps best exemplified on Holland's "Easy Did It," where for once a title is apt for all the right reasons. Chris Potter plays soprano sax here, and his work on that horn has arguably greater character than his tenor playing. While he doesn't approach the individuality of, say, Steve Lacy on the straight horn, he does have an exceptional grasp of tonal nuance.

There's an awful lot of music in this vein out there at the moment, and whilst it's always faultlessly played, it can be a little wearing having to try and identify soloists through note patterns alone. There is no such concern here, which makes this disc a rarity. The soloists have identities of their own and there's nothing in the way of the usual overstatement here. What emerges instead is the impression of a band mining a rich musical seam with skill and aplomb.

Visit Dave Holland on the web.


Track Listing: The Eyes Have It; Easy Did It; Vicissitudes; The Leak; Secret Garden; Lucky Seven; Full Circle; Amator Silenti.

Personnel: Chris Potter: tenor and soprano saxophones; Robin Eubanks: trombone; Steve Nelson: vibraphone, marimba, tambourine; Nate Smith: drums; Dave Holland: bass.

Title: Critical Mass | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Time Being" CD/LP/Track Review Time Being
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "No Secrets No Lies" CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "14.11.2016" CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Soul Garden" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Walk Against Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Walk Against Wind
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A." CD/LP/Track Review The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A.
by Paul Naser
Published: October 18, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!