The Balance Holland
Mister B. Holland
Bedouin Trail Holland
The Benevolet One Wilson
Dave Holland (acoustic bass),
Steve Wilson (soprano, alto sax),
Robin Eubanks (trombone),
Steve Nelson (vibes, marimba),
Billy Kilson (drums)
Review: Dave Holland, who made a name for himself initially playing with Miles, Corea, Braxton and his own early-70s avant-jazz classic Conference of the Birds, has mellowed a bit. Not too imply the fire's gone out--just saying that this album could actually get radio-play during the daytime hours on a big-city jazz station or program.
The mildly Middle Eastern-tinged ballad "Bedouin Trail" recalls the more "exotic" compositions of Charles Tolliver ("Along the Nile"), Jackie McLean and Wayne Shorter. Eubanks' "Metamorphos" has a touch of the early-60s Blue Note "funky/soul-bop" sound along with its quirky melodic line and alternately punchy (Eubanks) and Konitz-cool flavored (Wilson) solos, before flirting with "out" passages. "Ario" is a genuinely pretty ballad (also Blue Note-ish), with nice unison play/interplay from the horns.
This is not a cutting-edge nor introspective session from Holland (who's still one of the best bassists on the planet, with that sturdy, supple tone), but a relatively straight-ahead one. And a good one, at that--it won't put you in orbit, but it's well worth a trip to the store. (And for jazz neophytes, not a bad album to start off with.)Rumbéatelo: