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Points of View by Dave Holland Quintet

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.)

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dave Holland Quintet
  • CD Title: Points of View
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 1998
  • Record Label: ECM Records
  • Musicians: Dave Holland (acoustic bass), Steve Wilson (soprano, alto sax), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Steve Nelson (vibes, marimba), Billy Kilson (drums)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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