Dave Holland: Rivers Run


Rivers Run


Dave Holland (bass)


Triplicate (ECM 1373)

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Dave Holland (bass), Steve Coleman (alto sax), Jack DeJohnette (drums).

Composed by Dave Holland


Recorded: New York, March 1988


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

This is the leader's tribute to his erstwhile colleague, the great progressive tenor and soprano sax player Sam Rivers. The opening minute is Holland alone with a bass solo characteristically full of melodic invention; he approaches his instrument with the mindset of a pianist. After the other two join in, Holland states a dark vamp over which DeJohnette shows increasing volatility until the band stops dead in its tracks to let him solo unaccompanied, this time preceding the second vamp, a 4-5-5 ostinato that quickly devolves into a double-timed free-for-all. Coleman refuses to blur his notes, making his nice quick scale runs cleanly. The frenzy ends with a return to the second vamp stated a couple more times and then out.

"Rivers Run," revisited 10 years later on Holland's sextet album Pass It On, shows many of Holland's qualities: economy, interplay, thoughtful musicianship and attention to melody even at the more "free" moments.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron

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