Monday, January 25, 2010 (NEW YORK, NY) - A Dave Holland bass line compels attention. A master of tone and rhythm, the bassist, composer, and bandleader is now in his fifth decade as a performer. Though he got his big break from Miles Davis, with whom he played during the trumpet legend’s epochal Bitches Brew period, and collaborated with the biggest names in jazz, it is Holland’s own contributions as band leader and composer that have established the bassist as a jazz legend.
Holland’s modern ensembles, most notably the Dave Holland Quintet and the Dave Holland Big Band, are responsible for several of the era’s most memorable recordings: Not for Nothing; Extended Play: Live at Birdland; What Goes Around; and Overtime. With Holland, the band or album may be new, but it’s always the same genius.
Pathways (Dare2) marks the recording debut of the Dave Holland Octet. The record is set for a March 23 release. The players should be familiar to Holland and jazz fans alike: Chris Potter (tenor, soprano), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Steve Nelson (vibes, marimba), and Nate Smith (drums). Added to the front-line are other Holland collaborators Antonio Hart (alto saxophone), Alex Sipiagin (trumpet), and Gary Smulyan (baritone saxophone) giving the band a more flexible range of sounds.
“I had always loved the sound of the Duke Ellington small groups, often with a five horn front-line plus the rhythm section. The combination of two brass and three saxes gives access to a wide range of textures and colors and allows a composer to evoke the sound of a big band or create the more intimate sound of a small group.” Holland returned to his favorite New York environment - the legendary Birdland - to record Pathways, capturing this incredible group of improvisers in full flight.
For those that have followed Holland’s recording career, know that he, not unlike fellow bassist/bandleader Charles Mingus, often revisit compositions at different stages in his career.
“Writing the song is just a starting point and after that the improviser develops different ways of interpreting it. There are some compositions that seem to remain relevant and that continue to evolve. On Pathways, I chose two older pieces, “Shadow Dance” and “How’s Never?” The former was on Jumpin In’, my debut recording with my first working band over 25 years ago. The latter I first played with the Gateway trio with Jack DeJohnette and John Abercrombie.”
Pathways will be available in a standard CD edition, a premium edition limited to 1000 copies, and as a download (MP3, Apple Lossless, or FLAC). Physical copy pre-orders will receive an immediate download of Pathways. Niklaus Troxler contributed the cover artwork as he has on Holland’s three previous releases on Dare2 Records. Holland has also added Internet entrepreneur to his portfolio, launching a new version of www.daveholland.com, which utilizes the much-discussed direct-to-fan marketing software, Topspin.