Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Dave Holland: Pathways

349

Dave Holland: Pathways

By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Holland: Pathways
Bassist Dave Holland's main creative vehicle has long been the Dave Holland Quintet, but in recent years he's launched a number of other groups, tweaking and expanding instrumentation while preserving something of the quintet's signature sound. On Pathways, recorded live at Birdland in 2009, Holland takes another detour with the Dave Holland Octet, which splits the difference between his quintet and big band in terms of size, texture and orchestrated thrust.

Incidentally, Holland switched from ECM Records to his own Dare2 label in 2005 and the somber green and blue hues of his ECM album art have given way to Dare2's whimsical shapes and bright neons. But the music has remained consistently biting, a stew of stripped-down harmony and off-centered rhythmic attack that is well represented here.

Holland augments his core lineup—trombonist Robin Eubanks, saxophonist Chris Potter, vibraphonist Steve Nelson and drummer Nate Smith—with three additional horns. The first to be prominently featured is baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan, who handles the main melody and first solo of the lead-off title track and returns on the lush, slow minor blues "Blue Jean." Altoist Antonio Hart channels Maceo Parker on Holland's "How's Never," a limping funk tune from the bassist's mid-'90s Gateway repertoire. Trumpeter Alex Sipiagin contributes "Wind Dance," one of the set's most fulfilling pieces, rich in counterpoint and flute flourishes (via Hart). Potter's "Sea of Marmara," the other non-Holland highlight, weaves in dreamy atmospherics with soprano sax and muted trumpet.

Holland's writing tends to be punchy, vampy and bass line-driven and "Shadow Dance," the big sendoff, is a good specimen. Also figuring into Holland's big band repertoire, the tune has moments that subtly echo Duke Ellington's "Caravan." In a recent blog post, Holland cited the Ellington small groups as a key influence, so the shoe fits.

Track Listing

Pathways; How's Never?; Sea of Marmara; Ebb and Flow; Blue Jean; Wind Dance; Shadow Dance.

Personnel

Dave Holland: bass; Chris Potter: tenor and soprano saxophones; Robin Eubanks: trombone; Steve Nelson: vibraphone, marimba; Nate Smith: drums; Antonio Hart: alto saxophone, flute; Alex Sipiagin: trumpet, flugelhorn; Gary Smulyan: baritone saxophone.

Album information

Title: Pathways | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Dare2 Records


< Previous
Dark Eyes

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Near

More

Silent, Listening
Fred Hersch
Riley
Riley Mulherkar
3 Works For Strings
Giusto Chamber Orchestra
My Multiverse
Pearring Sound

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.