[Dixielandjazz] Dave Holland's Big Band
jbutler6 at twcny.rr.com
Tue Mar 16 15:19:11 PST 2004
A VERY INTERESTING BAND. THE CD "WHAT GOES AROUND" IS PRETTY WILD. IT SURE
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 1:52 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Dave Holland's Big Band
> Big Band music coming back? Depends upon whether your glass is half
> full, or half empty. Or whether or not you think and do like Dave
> Steve Barbone
> March 16, 2004 - NY TIMES
> MUSIC REVIEW | DAVE HOLLAND BIG BAND
> A Big Band, Rooted in the Past, Roars Straight Into the Future
> By BEN RATLIFF
> The best thing about Dave Holland's big band, which has gotten to
> impressive cruising speed in only a couple of years, tends to be the
> core of it: the musicians who make up his more regularly performing
> group, the Dave Holland Quintet.
> That's no surprise. The quintet is one of the best jazz bands, with its
> own rhythmic and structural language and its own sparkling group sound.
> Under Mr. Holland's guiding vision, each member is as important as the
> next. But the 13-piece big band, with its tight arrangements, adds great
> layers of harmony and color. The arrangements lean on what's already
> there in the last 50 years of jazz orchestras, the line that forms the
> current mainstream of the language, stretching from Ellington to late
> Basie to Gil Evans to Thad Jones. The underlying engine is about as
> contemporary as jazz gets.
> The big band is starting to sound more integrated, like uniquely
> large-ensemble music, not just a quintet with add-ons. At Zankel Hall on
> Wednesday the band played a new set, tunes different from those on the
> group's first album, "What Goes Around," released on ECM two years ago.
> Half of the concert was a 40-minute suite Mr. Holland wrote for the
> Monterey Jazz Festival in 2001.
> The reliable feature of nearly all of his tunes is a vamp; as played by
> Mr. Holland, they sound strong and natural. They're not just
> palate-clearing passages, but basically the meal itself; intricately
> written and accented often in odd-numbered meter, they sustain and spur
> on the group's fine soloists. The saxophonist Chris Potter, the
> trombonist Robin Eubanks and the vibraphonist Steve Nelson - regular
> members of the quintet - all made impressive showings, but the
> saxophonist Mark Gross was dynamic and energetic on two separate solos
> in "A Rio." A new addition to the group, Nate Smith, shifted the sound a
> little: whereas the previous drummer, Billy Kilson, leaned toward a
> clenched, excitingly aggressive version of funk, Mr. Smith shows a
> little more range.
> He proved his breadth especially in the suite, moving from the swing of
> first movement ("Bring It On") to a technically agile drum solo in the
> second, over a minimal bass vamp ("Free For All"), to the serious funk
> bounce of the fourth ("Happy Jamming,"), stressing up-beats as hard as
> down-beats. This last part was the band at its best: streamlined, joyous
> orchestral funk with jazz nuance and harmonic vocabulary.
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