A key participant in the British jazz scene of the ‘60s, bassist and composer Dave Holland went on to work with Miles Davis on In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, play with the band Circle, and release the superb Conference of the Birds as a solo artist in 1972. In the 21st century, Holland has remained active, regularly performing and releasing several albums of fine, straight-ahead jazz. On Pathways, which was recorded live at Birdland in 2009, he leads the Dave Holland Octet on the group’s debut effort. Jazz octets are interesting: they can offer the intimacy of a smaller outfit or have the punch of a big band. Holland wrote most of the material here, and his fine arrangements make the most of a lineup that includes three saxophones, trumpet, trombone, vibraphone, bass, and drums. Two of the band members also contribute compositions: Chris Potter’s “Sea of Marmara” finds the saxophonist playing an intriguing soprano line, while trumpeter Alex “Sasha” Sipiagin’s moody “Wind Dance” is one of the best things here. Both tracks offer a variety of brass and wind colors.