Dave Holland: Black Hole


Black Hole


Dave Holland (bass)


Extensions (ECM 1410)

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Dave Holland (bass), Steve Coleman (alto sax), Kevin Eubanks (guitar), Marvin 'Smitty' Smith (drums).

Composed by Steve Coleman


Recorded: New York, September 1989


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

Dave Holland led the session, and Steve Coleman wrote the tune, but “Black Hole” is Marvin “Smitty” Smith’s showcase. The drummer claims the spotlight here, turning every measure into an opportunity to solo, no matter how subtly. The tune starts in 13/8 and then moves from one time signature to another – this would be a hallmark of Holland for years to come. Keeping up with the changes must have been no small feat, and these guys did it as though they were on automatic. All four men deserve accolades for their work on “Black Hole” – Eubanks’s searing final solo makes you want to learn to play electric guitar – but Smith lays down one of the most dazzling displays a drummer has ever put to record. A student of drumming could study these 10 minutes for months on end.

Reviewer: Steve Greenlee

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