Dave Holland - Prism

For “Prism”, Dave Holland has assembled a quartet of outstanding players and composers who are also leaders in their own right, Kevin Eubanks on guitar, Craig Taborn on piano and Fender Rhodes, and Eric Harland on drums. The recording is representative of the wide range of musical references that these musicians incorporate into their music and it features compositions written by each of them for the group.

The album takes the listener through many musical landscapes starting with the infectious funky groove of the Eubanks’ composition “The Watcher” followed by one of Holland’s compositions, “The Empty Chair”, a soulful blues that hints at references to the music of Jimi Hendrix. Craig Taborn’s “Spirals” creates an intriguing setting for the group that moves through a series of dramatically changing musical developments and Eric Harland’s hauntingly beautiful composition “Breathe” provides a musical space that seems to suspend time.

The groups of Dave Holland have always reflected a collaborative spirit with the goal of creating a musical context that allows the musicians to express their creative individuality. “Prism” brings together four musicians who are each forging their own musical path and together have created a unique and contemporary musical statement on this recording.Amid endless choices, the sound of 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 and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. His path has led him from the frontiers of free improvisation to his modern ensembles that fully embody the Sam Rivers-instilled philosophy of “playing all of it.” The Wolverhampton, England, native got his big break from Miles Davis, with whom he played during the trumpet legend’s epochal Bitches Brew period. Solo, and in collaboration, Holland became a dominant voice in the 1970s – partnering with Rivers, and working with folk and rock musicians such as Bonnie Raitt and John Hartford, and even had a passing encounter with Jimi Hendrix. He formed his first working quintet in 1983, and released Jumpin’ In, and continued to develop other varied and fruitful relationships with artists such as Anthony Braxton, Stan Getz, Cassandra Wilson, Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Betty Carter, Pat Metheny, Kenny Wheeler, Bill Frisell, Roy Haynes and Herbie Hancock over the course of his career.

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