Dave Holland Big Band: Blues for C.M.

Perhaps no modern jazz musician has had a more profound effect on jazz rhythm than bassist/bandleader Dave Holland. From as far back as his Conference of the Birds and Jumpin' In from the 1970s and early '80s, to his famed Quintet recordings of the '90s, Holland has been largely responsible for popularizing complex long-form mixed-meter passages. But while 9/4, 11/4 and 13/4 are all fairly common meter choices for Holland, his careful, seamless writing suggests that his unique melodies are written without trying to squeeze any into a specific mixed meter. An interesting Holland melody, when completed, might just happen to wind up lasting 9 beats instead of 8.

Many of Holland's quintet arrangements translate perfectly into the big band format, as evidenced throughout his 2001 big band debut, What Goes Around. His frequent instruction to have tenorman Potter and trombonist Eubanks play concurrent melodic lines (in the quintet format) come to life to the nth degree when entire big band brass sections harmonize the previously composed, interweaving single lines. This powerful style of collective arranging can be heard throughout "Blues for C.M.," Holland's tribute to Charles Mingus, a slow-burning, ever-building blues (in 4/4!).

October 30, 2008 · 0 comments


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