Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Dave Holland’s Prism at Copenhagen Jazzhouse

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
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 the many-sided aesthetic interests of the participating musicians: guitarist Kevin Eubanks, pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Eric Harland. This is evident on the album Prism (Dare2, 2013) and was also shown when the group played an intense concert at Copenhagen Jazzhouse.

Holland was clearly in a good mood and smiled throughout the concert and there was also much to be happy about. It was clear that he enjoyed the tight musical communication in the group. He was placed in the middle of the scene and was the center of attention, but this was just scenography. At heart, the group is a democratic constellation and this was underlined by a set list with contributions from all members.

The concert evolved as a journey in sound with delicate explorations of texture, hypnotic grooves and instrumental explosions. Everyone brought something to the music that reflected their personalities. Taborn's advanced sense of time and harmony was showcased on "The True Meaning of Determination" and his crystalline tone graced the reading of Harland's abstract ballad "Breathe," with plenty of space and almost no accompaniment from the composer.

Throughout the concert, Harland underlined how versatile a player he is. He changed between propulsive grooves, advanced swing, progressive breaks and subtle coloration. Eubanks was just as diverse. It wasn't surprising that he was capable of powerful riffing and intense rocking, but the subdued experimental textures that he provided at times brought him closer to Bill Frisell than John McLaughlin. A highlight from the concert was his composition "Evolution" that was almost a portrait of the group, a musical metamorphosis embracing abstract sound painting, a solid groove and progressive rock.

Holland anchored all the different sounds with his soulful playing and organic bass patterns. His woody sound was the perfect contrast to the electrified outbursts from Eubanks while Taborn changed between piano and Fender Rhodes. As a group, Prism showed itself capable of going in all directions. There was clearly a love of progressive rock and fusion, but the music wasn't nostalgic at all. This was contemporary music with plenty of personality.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Live Reviews
Charlotte Jazz Festival 2019
By Mark Sullivan
May 16, 2019
Live Reviews
Nubya Garcia at Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival 2019
By Ian Patterson
May 16, 2019
Live Reviews
Electronic Explorations in Afro-Cuban and UK Jazz
By Chris May
May 15, 2019
Live Reviews
Charlotte Jazz Festival 2019
By Perry Tannenbaum
May 13, 2019
Live Reviews
Savannah Music Festival 2019
By Martin Longley
May 12, 2019
Live Reviews
Eyolf Dale at April Jazz
By Anthony Shaw
May 10, 2019
Live Reviews
Imogen Heap with guy Sigsworth at Lincoln Theatre
By Geno Thackara
May 10, 2019