All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

481

Dave Holland Quintet: Extended Play/Live at Birdland

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
This group just doesn't put out a bad record, so it's hard to look at something new without some expectations. Bassist Dave Holland has led this particular quintet for six active years and four records, the latest of which is a live double set where the tunes stretch out around 12 minutes each. One would think this wasn't the best marketing move—aren't double live sets reserved for aging rock stars?—but then again Holland has been given the nod by the Grammy people. You take home the G, you get to do what you want.

In this particular case the secret seems to be unleashing the talent in his fellow band members, who in this combination are pretty much better than they are elsewhere. You can explain that however you like, but the combined energy has a very particular focus. Drummer Billy Kilson rides on, around, and under the beat in an actively propulsive mode, as much groove as swing. His fellow percussionist of sorts comes in the form of vibraphonist Steve Nelson, whose giddy sense of melody is evenly matched with an oblique rhythmic thrust. The horns pick up themes and twist them out, traveling to the borders of outer sound (where some tame listeners might cringe) on occasion.

Suitably enough, the first disc gets off the ground with "The Balance," which opened the quintet's debut, Points of View. It's an extended 22 minute romp over a relaxed but still forward-looking groove, Holland milking the areas between downbeat and backbeat to produce something that's familiar and yet strange at the same time.

Chris Potter's "High Wire" is more compact in mood and pace, at times losing the warmth that's the hallmark of this group. That's a temporary state, most certainly far from sight by the time the dreamy "Make Believe" comes through. "Claressence" (a Holland tune from before the quintet's time) moves gently and firmly through periods of free improvisation. "Bedouin Trail" winks slyly with a grin, winding along without a care in the world.

As always, that particular bouncing sense of joy shines radiantly through the music. This long recording from four days in November of 2001 presents a singular opportunity to hear what happens when this group stretches out. It's coherent but never predictable, right where you can't pin it down.


Track Listing: Disc One. The Balance - 21:02; High Wire - 15:21; Jugglers Parade - 18:27; Make Believe - 6:44; Free for All - 10:18;
Disc Two. Claressence - 17:22; Prime Directive - 13:00; Bedouin Trail - 12:27; Metamorphos - 20:10.

Personnel: Chris Potter: soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones; Robin Eubanks: trombone, cowbell; Steve Nelson: vibraphones and marimba; Billy Kilson: drums; Dave Holland: bass.

Title: Extended Play/Live at Birdland | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Ellipse CD/LP/Track Review
Ellipse
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 23, 2018
Read While We Still Have Bodies CD/LP/Track Review
While We Still Have Bodies
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 23, 2018
Read Ghost Town Blues Band CD/LP/Track Review
Ghost Town Blues Band
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2018
Read Toot Suite CD/LP/Track Review
Toot Suite
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 23, 2018
Read Love + Time + Divination CD/LP/Track Review
Love + Time + Divination
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2018
Read Gleb Kolyadin CD/LP/Track Review
Gleb Kolyadin
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 22, 2018
Read "Use Your Imagination" CD/LP/Track Review Use Your Imagination
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 21, 2017
Read "Tales From Under" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From Under
by James Nadal
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "In Stride" CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Barry O'Sullivan
Published: January 29, 2018
Read "The Big Wig" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "Anti-Hero" CD/LP/Track Review Anti-Hero
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Fly Or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly Or Die
by John Sharpe
Published: July 10, 2017