Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

5

Dave Holland: Prism

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Bassist Dave Holland first became a leader-on-record with Conference Of The Birds (ECM, 1973), a now-classic outré quartet session. That initial leader date portrayed Holland as a restless seeker, willing and eager to explore the inner workings of group dynamics and the outer reaches of convention, and he's done little to alter that perception of himself in the intervening years. Holland has, with band after band and album after album, continually broadened his outlook, creating a vast and enviable body of work along the way. Now, he celebrates four decades of leadership by introducing another potent foursome to the world.

On Prism, Holland reunites with three musical spark plugs from his past: guitarist Kevin Eubanks, who appeared on the bassist's Extensions (ECM, 1989), drummer Eric Harland, who worked side-by-side with Holland in The Monterey Quartet and then joined him for Pass It On (Dare2 Records, 2008), and pianist/Fender Rhodes man Craig Taborn, who's shared the stage with the bassist on a number of occasions over the past few years. As individuals, these gentlemen rank high on many a critic and fan's list of players; together, they form the most exciting and awe-inspiring quartet to debut on record this year.

The music this band delivers on Prism is like a vortex, sucking in everything within earshot. Interlocking patterns, excoriating lines, killer grooves and blazing solos are par for the course. Democracy prevails in all aspects, as each band member contributes music, muscle and more along the way. "The True Meaning Of Determination" is the perfect example of this one-for-all and all-for-one philosophy. Holland draws focus with his bass introduction, melodic delivery is a joint venture between two band mates, Eubanks' guitar singes everything in sight, Taborn takes the spotlight and has a blast chopping up the time with Harland, and everybody comes together to drive it home. It's nine-plus minutes of pure, heart-pounding bliss, and it doesn't even stand above the other tracks; nearly every performance here has a similar endorphin-producing effect. The band does operate in other areas, from the bluesy and soulful ("The Empty Chair (For Clare)") to the contemplative and free floating ("Breathe"), but they retain a group identity no matter where the music takes them. They sound best when they burn, but they still sound like the same unit when they simmer or stay put.

Prism isn't simply a great album by a great band; it's as good as jazz records come. Four months may separate this album's release and the close of 2013, but this one may have already sealed it up for "Album Of The Year" honors.

Track Listing: The Watcher; The Empty Chair; Spirals; Choir; The Color of Iris; A New Day; The True Meaning of Determination; Evolution; Breathe.

Personnel: Dave Holland: bass; Craig Taborn: piano, Fender Rhodes; Kevin Eubanks: guitar; Eric Harland: drums.

Title: Prism | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Dare2 Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Kurrent" CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Anthology - Bigger Than Life" CD/LP/Track Review Anthology - Bigger Than Life
by Doug Collette
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Post Bop Gypsies" CD/LP/Track Review Post Bop Gypsies
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "A Home In Between" CD/LP/Track Review A Home In Between
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "14.11.2016" CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017

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!