349

Dave Holland: Pathways

David Adler 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.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Dare2 Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Makes My Heart Sway" CD/LP/Track Review Makes My Heart Sway
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 23, 2016
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Tyran Grillo
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "Christmastime in New Orleans" CD/LP/Track Review Christmastime in New Orleans
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Aziza" CD/LP/Track Review Aziza
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Floa" CD/LP/Track Review Floa
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 23, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!