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Not for Nothin'

Dave Holland Quintet

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Album Review

Almost two years after the issue of the fine Prime Directive, Dave Holland brings his quintet back intact for another go at his particular brand of elegant jazz-making. One of the finest characteristics of Holland as a leader is his insistence on putting his bandmates out front. Thus, along with the five Holland compositions, there is one each by trombonist Robin Eubanks, saxophonist Chris Potter, vibist Steve Nelson, and drummer Billy Kilson. Eubanks' "Global Citizen" opens the proceedings and Holland soon shifts the first solo to Nelson, who traipses the edges of the rhythm. As the horn players re-enter, the bluesy flavor of bop enters with them and Nelson has to move outside into a Latin vein to keep the tune from making him disappear. Elsewhere, on Holland's "Shifting Sands," he uses three harmonic figures to create an Eastern-tinged mood akin to the folk music of North Africa. The bassist takes the first solo, weaving a subtle cross section of microphonics and open notes in the lower register, before Nelson colors his staccatos with subtle blues and grays as the band kicks in to signal Eubanks and Potter to engage in a tightly wrought but easy-feeling musical conversation. Not for Nothin' is all about compelling music; there isn't a spare or slack moment on the set, but as the band takes it out with the progressive post-boppism of Holland's "Cosmosis," it's clear to see how finely wrought this ensemble is: they anticipate each other even in the studio while playing the chart. There are moments of dovetailing here between Eubanks and Potter where the overlap is so slight yet so profound it could never have been left to chance, only to close listening. And there are spaces within the solos where Kilson signals Holland and then Nelson for a little double timing and opening of the mood to allow for Potter to blow through the changes in the tune before Nelson makes them disappear completely. Whoa! The only regret this reviewer has about Not for Nothin' is that it isn't a double CD. This is postmodern poetic singing at its finest. Who said jazz is a dead art form? Let he or she who has the ears to hear, hear; the Dave Holland Quintet is carrying the banner of creative music in the jazz tradition in the 21st century.

Customer Reviews

Great jazz

Same feel as the best mid-60s Blue Note records of Bobby Hutcherson, Wayne Shorter, Andrew Hill -- challenging enough to reward close listening but also groovy. THe vibes and the 'bone add great sound colors and the leader's bass is always there.

Best...

...studio album by one of the best groups in modern jazz. The expression and communication of these guys is unparalleled, and the tunes are top-notch, too. Every musician shines on this record--saxophonist Chris Potter for his solos on "Lost and Found" and "What Goes Around," trombonist Robin Eubanks and vibist Steve Nelson for their stellar compositions "Global Citizen" and "Go Fly a Kite," drummer Billy Kilson for some of his most tasteful and impressive playing to date, and bassist Holland for leading the ensemble as an unstoppable force on the double bass. An absolute must-have in the Holland catalog, and a key record in the moden jazz legacy.

Not for Nothin', Dave Holland Quintet
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Avant-Garde Jazz
  • Released: Aug 21, 2001

Customer Ratings