Over the course of a nearly five-decade career, bassist/composer Dave Holland has exemplified that evolutionary process in musical form, reinventing his concept and approach with each new project while constantly honing his instantly identifiable voice.
Dave Holland introduces his new incarnation of Prism to the world: an all-star quartet comprised of Kevin Eubanks on guitar and Obed Calvaire on drums.
With each band member contributing distinctive compositions, Prism sets forth a new musical direction for Holland - a horn-less quartet with an explosive and visceral edge, while maintaining an organic approach overall.
‘Fluid, lyrical and inventive, no wonder he got his first big break from Miles Davis.’ (CBC Music)
‘his most visceral recording for many years, recalling the uncompromising onslaught of his work with Miles [Davis] in 1970’ (Jazzwise)
In the 40 years since Dave Holland's recording debut as a leader, with his landmark album, Conference of the Birds, the bassist, composer, and bandleader has produced a remarkable series of recordings and groups documenting his eclectic musical journey. On Prism, his latest album available now on Dare2 Records (Holland's imprint, with distribution from Redeye), he introduces his latest working band (of the same name) to the world: an all-star quartet comprised of Kevin Eubanks on guitar, Craig Taborn on piano and Fender Rhodes and Eric Harland on drums. With each band member contributing distinctive compositions, Prism sets forth a new musical direction for Holland - a horn-less quartet with an explosive and visceral edge, while maintaining an organic approach overall.
Debuting at the 2012 TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival last June, 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. Holland's groups have always reflected a collaborative spirit with the goal of creating a musical context that allows the musicians to express their creative individuality, a concept that is an underlying theme to the group's namesake and eclectic sound. "I liked the image of a prism dividing light into spectrum of colors," says Holland. "A visual symbol of the one becoming many. The music being a unification of diverse parts."
The resulting factor of these combined efforts on Prism, Holland's first album in nearly three years, is an electrifying outing that is equally groove-oriented as it is avant-garde. Jazzwise Magazine has already described the new project as Holland's "...most visceral recording for many years, recalling the uncompromising onslaught of his work with Miles [Davis] in 1970, and his own Extensions band in the late 1980s." Holland attributes a portion of this new musical direction to the instrumentation. "The sound of this group is different from other projects I've done previously," reflects Holland. "Most groups have featured horn players and I've rarely worked with keyboards in the band. But I wanted a different sound for this group and started thinking about a quartet with guitar, piano doubling on Fender Rhodes, bass and drums. That certainly has opened up some different musical directions."
In conceiving the band's personnel, Holland first looked to reunite with one of his oldest collaborators: guitarist Kevin Eubanks. The two began working together on various projects in the late 1980s, and Eubanks soon after led The Tonight Show Band from 1995-2010. "It's usual for me that the inspiration for putting a group together begins with the musicians that I want to play with. I'd felt a strong musical connection with Kevin when we'd played together previously and the time was right for us to get back together again." Craig Taborn and Eric Harland joined the group shortly thereafter, having both worked with Holland in different contexts over the past few years, and Prism was formed.