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iTunes Review

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.

Customer Reviews

Captures excitement of live show

This is a terrific record. It captures the energy and excitement of a live performance by any of the iterations of Dave Holland's Quintet/Sextet/Octet. I think this Octet record is even better than the ECM Dave Holland Big Band record of several years back - the band sounds looser and the writing is great. Hope to see them tour sometime soon.


Dave Holland is always entertaining. I liked his last album and this is even better. Well recorded and all instruments being heard from the musicians point of view.


I had been anticipating this album for a while now, I had enormously high expectations for it. It met my expectations. The octet format allows Holland to arrange as it its a big band at times but then have a more personal setting and highlight his amazing personnel. The only complaint I might have is that you end up wanting more. Each member is kind of showcased on only one or two songs. I got it this morning (day it came out) already listened through twice. Great album.

Top Albums and Songs by Dave Holland Octet

Pathways, Dave Holland Octet
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Customer Ratings