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Dave Holland

Dave Holland is an NEA Jazz Master

Amid endless choices, the sound of a Dave Holland bass line compels attention. A master of tone and rhythm, the bassist, composer, and bandleader is now in his fifth decade as a performer and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. One of Holland's mentors, the affably sage-like saxophonist Sam Rivers, gave him a tip once. "Sam said, ‘Don't leave anything out?"play all of it,' " Holland once told a radio interviewer. "That's become almost a mantra for me over the years," he says, "as I've tried to find a way to build a vehicle which lets me utilize the full spectrum which includes the tradition, playing the blues and improvising freely. I love all that music, and there's been a desire to reconcile all those areas, to make them relevant, hopefully, in a contemporary context, as one music."

Holland is not the only accomplished bassist in music, an instrument rich in authoritative figures like Charles Mingus and Scott LaFaro. But he's the only Dave Holland, and the vivid personal imprint he brings to the music performs stamps it with a sound that transcends any arbitrary descriptions of genre or format. He is a seminal figure in post-1960s jazz, but has never allowed his work to be limited by tradition.

This path has led him from the frontiers of free improvisation to his modern ensembles that fully embody Rivers' philosophy of "playing all of it."

Born in 1946, the Wolverhampton, England, native was a steady figure on the London jazz scene when Miles Davis saw him at the fabled Soho jazz club Ronnie Scott's in1968, playing in a combo that opened for the Bill Evans Trio. "Miles heard something in his sound and his ideas," recalled Jack DeJohnette, who was Evans's drummer on the date. A month later, Holland was on the bandstand with Davis at Count Basie's Harlem nightclub. He then joined the rhythm section on Filles de Kilimanjaro, and the revolutionary In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew sessions. It was a heady two years, but Holland was quickly developing his own ideas about music.

He recalls that one of his earliest and hardest lessons was how to make his own space in Davis' music, which at the time was electronically evolving. "When I first joined Miles' band, he didn't say much to me. I now know that to be one of his great gifts to artists: to encourage us to not play like the guys who came before us, but to explore our own creative solutions. At the time I remember reading a quote from the Sufi tradition that said, 'Plant your banner firmly in the desert sand.' That resonated with me. I knew I had to figure out what I could bring to the table to represent how I heard and felt the music."

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In Pictures

Torino Jazz Festival 2024, Part 1

Read "Torino Jazz Festival 2024, Part 1" reviewed by Antonio Baiano


Part 1 | Part 2 A collection of photos from the Torino Jazz Festival, 12th edition in Torino, Italy from April 20, 2024 to April 30 2024 featuring Dave Holland, Christian McBride, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Ernesto Simpson, Jaleel Shaw, Eric Harland, Roscoe Mitchell, Steve Lehman, Michele Rabbia, John Zorn, Laura Klain, Ares Tavolazzi, Sakina Abdou, Julian Lage, Kenny Wollesen, Jorge Roeder, Eric Mingus and Silvia Bolognesi. ...

25
Reassessing

The Electric Years Box Set

Read "The Electric Years Box Set" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


In a year that has brought us a true bounty of previously unheard majesty including Evenings at the Village Gate: John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy (Impulse!), and Bill Evans; Treasures: Solo, Trio & Orchestra Recordings from Denmark (1965-1969), (Elemental Music) it is only fitting that Miles Davis get his due. And in a very, very big way. Seared into modern memory, modern art, the music presented on the gloriously massive, eleven LP set Miles Davis: The Electric Years ...

6
Album Review

A.R.C.: A.R.C.

Read "A.R.C." reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


Without the exploding theorems of multi-reedist/composer/alchemist Anthony Braxton, A.R.C., the multifarious rhythm trio of Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Barry Altschul, continue the grand work of the short-lived (but most esteemed) quartet Circle on this 1971 reissue and remaster of the exploratory and free flying A.R.C. Corea, who, after a short solo turn would soon break the realm with Return To Forever is especially feisty here, as too is Holland, who would a year hence record Conference of ...

7
Album Review

Jack DeJohnette: Sorcery

Read "Sorcery" reviewed by Rob Garratt


Which Jack DeJohnette is best known? The subtle sticksmith at the heart of Keith Jarrett's Standards Trio, perhaps? Probably the heavyweight hitter driving electric-era Miles Davis' '70s sonic brew. Maybe the percussive upstart propelling Charles Lloyd to crossover flower-power fame? Or even the fearless bandleader behind the ever-thrilling Special Edition band ... At age 81, DeJohnette can (still) fairly claim to be the most in-demand jazz drummer on the planet. But even the most studious acolyte ...

Live Review

Dave Holland New Quartet alla Casa del Jazz

Read "Dave Holland New Quartet alla Casa del Jazz" reviewed by Mario Calvitti


Dave Holland New Quartet Casa del Jazz Roma 17.7.2023 Un altro nome di rilievo nel programma dei concerti estivi alla Cassa del Jazz è stato quello del contrabbassista Dave Holland, un gigante del proprio strumento e tra i protagonisti assoluti del jazz per oltre 50 anni, che si è esibito alla testa di un nuovo quartetto del tutto inedito. Al suo fianco la pianista Kris Davis, il contraltista Jaleel Shaw e il batterista Nasheet ...

6
First Time I Saw

Dave Holland Circa 1976

Read "Dave Holland Circa 1976" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Ah, College. Life, liberty and the pursuit of... well... among other things, the quest for jazz music, trying to expand my horizons regarding an art form that had entered my blood in high school, despite the prevelant sounds of the Beatles, Joe Cocker, Blood Sweat & Tears, Leon Russell, the Allman Brothers and Sly and the Family Stone et. al., that I had grown up with. The search for the sweet sound of surprise, as they called it. Whatever it ...

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Album Review

Jack DeJohnette: Sorcery

Read "Sorcery" reviewed by Scott Gudell


Jack DeJohnette gets around. The Chicago born drummer was drawn to R&B and bebop in the late 1950s and eventually toyed with a more avant-garde jazz sound when he spent some time with the esoteric Sun Ra. It seems like DeJohnette played in the big leagues almost from the beginning since, by the time he moved to New York City in the mid-1960s, he was teaming up with other monsters of jazz such as Keith Jarrett and Charles Lloyd. Several ...

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Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Dave Holland's birthday today!

Amid endless choices, the sound of a Dave Holland bass line compels attention. A master of tone and rhythm, the bassist, composer, and bandleader is now in his fifth decade as a performer and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. One of Holland's mentors, the affably sage-like saxophonist Sam Rivers, gave him a tip once. “Sam said, ‘Don't leave anything out?"play all of it,' “ Holland once told a ...

3

Education

New England Conservatory’s Pioneering Jazz Studies Department Announces 2022-2023 Season

New England Conservatory’s Pioneering Jazz Studies Department  Announces 2022-2023 Season

Source: Braithwaite & Katz Communications

New England Conservatory’s internationally renowned Jazz Studies Department announces its 2022-2023 season with an array of concerts featuring NEC students performing with faculty and guest artists. Highlights include NEC’s visiting artist-in-residence, bassist/composer and NEA Jazz Master Dave Holland in a concert with students; a residency concert by vocalist Michael Mayo featuring live vocal looping; and other residencies to be announced. The NEC Jazz Orchestra will present four concerts: one with guest clarinetist Don Byron, one focusing on music for voice, ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Dave Holland's birthday today!

Amid endless choices, the sound of a Dave Holland bass line compels attention. A master of tone and rhythm, the bassist, composer, and bandleader is now in his fifth decade as a performer and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. One of Holland's mentors, the affably sage-like saxophonist Sam Rivers, gave him a tip once. “Sam said, ‘Don't leave anything out?"play all of it,' “ Holland once told a ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Dave Holland's birthday today!

Amid endless choices, the sound of a Dave Holland bass line compels attention. A master of tone and rhythm, the bassist, composer, and bandleader is now in his fifth decade as a performer and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. One of Holland's mentors, the affably sage-like saxophonist Sam Rivers, gave him a tip once. “Sam said, ‘Don't leave anything out?"play all of it,' “ Holland once told a ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Dave Holland's birthday today!

Amid endless choices, the sound of a Dave Holland bass line compels attention. A master of tone and rhythm, the bassist, composer, and bandleader is now in his fifth decade as a performer and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. One of Holland\'s mentors, the affably sage-like saxophonist Sam Rivers, gave him a tip once. “Sam said, ‘Don\'t leave anything out?"play all of it,\' “ Holland once told a ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Dave Holland's birthday today!

Amid endless choices, the sound of a Dave Holland bass line compels attention. A master of tone and rhythm, the bassist, composer, and bandleader is now in his fifth decade as a performer and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. One of Holland\'s mentors, the affably sage-like saxophonist Sam Rivers, gave him a tip once. “Sam said, ‘Don\'t leave anything out?"play all of it,\' “ Holland once told a ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Dave Holland's birthday today!

Amid endless choices, the sound of a Dave Holland bass line compels attention. A master of tone and rhythm, the bassist, composer, and bandleader is now in his fifth decade as a performer and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. One of Holland\'s mentors, the affably sage-like saxophonist Sam Rivers, gave him a tip once. “Sam said, ‘Don\'t leave anything out?"play all of it,\' “ Holland once told a ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Dave Holland's birthday today!

Amid endless choices, the sound of a Dave Holland bass line compels attention. A master of tone and rhythm, the bassist, composer, and bandleader is now in his fifth decade as a performer and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. One of Holland\'s mentors, the affably sage-like saxophonist Sam Rivers, gave him a tip once. “Sam said, ‘Don\'t leave anything out?"play all of it,\' “ Holland once told a ...

4

Award / Grant

NEC Faculty Member Dave Holland Receives 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Award

NEC Faculty Member Dave Holland Receives 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Award

Source: Braithwaite & Katz Communications

Renowned Jazz Bassist Dave Holland Earns Nation’s Highest Honor in Jazz: 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Award Holland is an NEC Visiting Artist-in-Residence NEC visiting artist-in-residence, renowned jazz bassist/composer and bandleader Dave Holland has earned the nation’s highest honor in jazz: a 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Award. Holland is one of five individuals recognized for their lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz. Each will receive a $25,000 award and be honored at a tribute concert on Monday, ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Jazz Musician of the Day: Dave Holland

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Dave Holland's birthday today! Amid endless choices, the sound of a Dave Holland bass line compels attention. A master of tone and rhythm, the bassist, composer, and bandleader is now in his fifth decade as a performer and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. One of Holland\'s mentors, the affably sage-like saxophonist Sam Rivers, gave him a tip once. “Sam said, ‘Don\'t leave anything out?"play all of it,\' “ Holland once told a ...

Primary Instrument

Bass

Location

New York City

Matt Kendrick
bass, acoustic
Jake Hanlon
guitar
Joris Teepe
bass, acoustic
Duncan Hopkins
bass, acoustic
Bruno Raberg
bass, acoustic
Daphna Sadeh
bass, acoustic
Hans Sturm
bass, acoustic
Jodi Michelle Proznick
bass, acoustic
Paul Unger
bass, acoustic
Adam Armstrong
bass, acoustic
Carl Clements
saxophone
Ben Hedquist
bass, acoustic
Marcos Milagres
bass, acoustic
Jesse Dietschi
bass, acoustic
Pere Bujosa
bass, acoustic
Roberto Spadoni
composer / conductor
Mark R DeJong
saxophone
Jonathan Andersen
bass, acoustic
Matteo Mosolo
bass, acoustic
Vladimir Samardzic
bass, electric
Jaehyun Cho
bass, acoustic
Jodi Proznick
bass, acoustic
Dom Pusey
saxophone, tenor

Photos

Concerts

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Gnu High

ECM Records
2023

buy

Sorcery

Craft Recordings
2023

buy

A.R.C.

ECM Records
2023

buy

The Electric Years...

Columbia Records / VMP Anthology
2023

buy

In Common III

Whirlwind Recordings
2022

buy

Pass It On

From: Pass It On
By Dave Holland

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