Dave Holland is best known as one of the great jazz bassists of his generation. Pepe Habichuela is an awe-inspiring flamenco guitarist. The two of them together, with Josemi and Carlos Carmona on additional guitars as well as a pair of percussionists, prove to be a wonderful combination. Holland brings his own experience to flamenco, subsuming himself in the genre, his bass imitating a voice on the glorious "Camaron," and giving free rein to the percussionists on "Joyride."
The halfway point in ECM's excellent 20-volume Rarum series is by one of its signature talents: bassist, composer, and bandleader Dave Holland. These documents are, essentially, career retrospectives wherein the artist chooses from his performances on the label, either as a leader, soloist, or sideman. Holland offers a fantastic cross section from his own catalog, with one exception. That selection is the album's opener, "How's Never" from Homecoming, the second album by Gateway, a trio Holland was involved in with guitarist John Abercrombie and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Most of the rest come from his celebrated 1980s and 1990s recordings with then-young luminaries such as Steve Coleman, Chris Potter, Smitty Smith, Kevin and Robin Eubanks, and ECM veterans such as Kenny Wheeler, Julian Priester, and Steve Wilson.
Uncharted Territories, which will be released in 2CD and 3LP formats, reunites Dave Holland with saxophonist Evan Parker, a longtime friend from their early days in London. Theyre joined by Craig Taborn, on piano and electronics, and Ches Smith on percussion. In addition to quartet improvisations, they also broke off into every possible subset of duo and trio configurations. The group also recorded two compositions by Smith and one by Holland. A resulting 23 tracks present a series of deep, multi-layered conversations between the musicians, some of whom were interacting for the first time.
Originating from a Japanese concert, this CD from M-A teams together pianist Milcho Leviev in duets with superb bassist Dave Holland. The music ranges from variations of standards to more introspective interplay and stimulating originals by the duo. High points include versions of Leviev's "Up and Down" and Holland's challenging and rather exciting "Jumpin' In." Although the bassist has a fair share of solo space, Leviev's command of the keyboard constantly grabs one's attention; he has long been one of Los Angeles' unheralded treasures. This recommended disc concludes (as do all of M-A's discs) with a selection taken from another CD, a fine performance by pianist Todd Garfinkle.
For more than 25 years, Anouar Brahem has taken his oud all over far off lands. A melodic impressionist and a for ever inspired improvisor, the Tunisian musician has above all toppled the barriers which separate genres…
Here you have three absolutely breathtaking jazz performers locked into a studio for a day or so. From this combination of guitar, standup bass, and acoustic drum kit, you've got nine tracks of sheer jazz joy – three guys just blowing for the hell of it, recorded on the fly. There's a strong sense here that engineer Rob Eaton probably tried to get everybody properly set up and balanced before the session started and just gave up when everybody started playing. It's a delight to hear, because everything has gone into the performance, which is spontaneous and graceful – no going back for the next take here. Pat Metheny's playing is definitely modernistic, highly fluid, almost liquid lightning – no effects boxes here, though (he does play Synclavier on the last track, "Three Flights Up," but it's great anyway). Roy Haynes, likewise, should be heard by anybody wanting to get behind the traps: this man has a sense of humor, and he's a blur of motion. Dave Holland, on bass, is no slouch either, keeping pace with Metheny's guitar lines, and balancing up against Haynes' drums. Together, these guys are incredible.
Bassist Dave Holland leads one of his most stimulating groups on this superlative quintet date. With the young Steve Coleman on alto and flute, trumpet great Kenny Wheeler, trombonist Julian Priester, and drummer Steve Ellington in the band, Holland had a particularly creative group of musicians in which to interpret and stretch out his six originals; Coleman also contributed one composition. This set, which has plenty of variety in moods, tone, colors, and styles, is one of Holland's better recordings.
In 1992, Dave Holland took a break from his extended residency at ECM to record his second solo bass outing, Ones All, for Intuition. In contrast to the abstract territory Holland explored with 1977's Emerald Tears, Ones All probes a more straightforward vein and feels very much like a jazz record despite its unconventional instrumentation. Holland's seemingly limitless capacity for harmonic and rhythmic invention is completely in evidence as he moves through this collection of six originals and four standards (plus one tune by Holland's fellow bassist Michael Moore).