303

Dave Holland Big Band: What Goes Around

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Holland Big Band: What Goes Around With a musical force like bassist Dave Holland at the helm, it's hard to imagine a group going wrong. But his new big band has a singular problem: too many players. Thirteen musicians, each more than capable, join forces on What Goes Around, which features seven tunes composed and arranged arranged by the man himself. Unfortunately this increase in scale just doesn't translate into much except redundancy. The core quintet (Potter, Eubanks, Nelson, Holland, and Kilson) has repeatedly proven its ability to say much more with fewer words. To date, Holland's work has focused on making statements implicitly, rather than fleshing out the meat on every bone. That's his great strength. And while there are most certainly moments on this big band disc where relatively spare instrumentation offers the same degree of clever implication, they are simply overwhelmed with arranged horns to the point where they drop off the horizon. We just don't need to hear all those details, thanks.

With that relatively scathing criticism on the plate, this disc still has much to offer if you're a fan of old-style big band nostalgia. Outside his usual modern jazz context, Holland heads directly into a more traditional sound. And these players, mostly from the progressive edges of the jazz world, have no trouble doing things the old fashioned way (at least in a relative sense). At times, intertwining improvisations offer some surprises, and the abundant solos still retain a welcome degree of unpredictability. Above all, no matter what else is happening, this music swings. With Holland at the bass and Billy Kilson on the drums, the pulse of the music is never in doubt. Holland has built some drama into the dynamics, so the group builds moving crescendos and flows from softness to brightness and back in involving ways. Several of these players (everyone, really) lend energy through solid improvisation.

Perhaps the situation here relates to perspective. Depending on what you're looking for, you'll either find it or walk away disappointed. To these ears, Holland's strengths most emphatically lie elsewhere. But perhaps other listeners will enjoy the teeming cries of these 13 voices.

Visit ECM Records on the web.


Track Listing: Triple Dance; Blues for C.M.; The Razor's Edge; What Goes Around; Upswing; First Snow; Shadow Dance.

Personnel: Antonio Hart: alto saxophone, flute; Mark Gross: alto saxophone; Chris Potter: tenor saxophone; Gary Smulyan: baritone saxophone; Robin Eubanks: trombone; Andre Hayward: trombone; Josh Roseman: trombone; Earl Gardner: trumpet, flugelhorn; Alex Sipiagin: trumpet, flugelhorn; Duane Eubanks: trumpet, flugelhorn; Steve Nelson: vibraphone; Dave Holland: bass; Billy Kilson: drums.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Two Hands, One Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Two Hands, One Heart
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Duopoly" CD/LP/Track Review Duopoly
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Impulsive Illuminations" CD/LP/Track Review Impulsive Illuminations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Negative Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Negative Spaces
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Light Shines In" CD/LP/Track Review Light Shines In
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "And the Rhythm Serenaders" CD/LP/Track Review And the Rhythm Serenaders
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 22, 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!