A Conversation with Dave Holland

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Monday October 14, 2013

From The Huffington Post

A Conversation with Dave Holland
By Mike Ragogna

Mike Ragogna: So Dave Holland, what inspired this configuration of players to come up with your album Prism?

Dave Holland: It started with me wanting to set up a situation for Kevin Eubanks and I to get back together again and do some playing. We’d been talking on and off for years and the time was just right for us to do it last year, so we talked things over and we thought we’d move ahead with it. I was thinking about how in addition to Kevin and I, I’d like to have a group and what kind of sound I’d like to produce, also, more importantly, who I’d like to do it with, because the players always come first for me. The instruments, of course, are important and that’s a part of the consideration, but it’s very much got to do with who I’m wanting to play with and explore music with. So these things came together thinking about the instrumentation. I thought it would be nice to have a band, for a change, without any horn players. If I’m thinking correctly, other than the flamenco album I did called Hands this is the first album that I’ve done without any horn players. I was thinking in terms of the size I’d like to have, not only acoustic piano, but also electric piano, which would give some changes of color for the group, and, of course, drums. Eric Harland, the drummer for the band and I have played together quite a few times over the last few years in projects that I’ve been involved with. I love playing with him and he was certainly the first person who came to mind for this project. He’s wonderfully creative and a warm, sensitive player; there’s a lot of fire to his playing as well and he’s a great listener.

For the keyboards, I immediately thought of Craig Taborn. I worked with Craig many years ago on a James Carter project. James was recording and I guested on a few tracks on that. That was my first project with Craig, but I’ve followed him closely and been a fan of his for some time and I just thought he would be a perfect addition. So that was how the personnel came together, and then the other part of this was also the idea of really representing everybody compositionally as well, because I liked very much each person’s compositional style. We each have a different way of composing and different ideas that we put out. I thought this representation of everybody in the compositional area too would give us a really nice range of music to work on and develop.

MR: Nice. While I wouldn’t really say this is a prog-type project, it does seem to cross over into the fusion category. Do you feel when you were recording that you were maybe revisiting a lot of the fusion experiences that you’ve had over the years?

DH: I can’t say I was thinking about revisiting, because that’s not really in my range of thinking. Usually, I like to think about things moving forward. As I said, it was just an idea that was based on people and then the music that would be appropriate for that and the sound of the band really developed from the rehearsals and the music that we brought in. I think certainly the instrumentation is one of those things that perhaps hints at that idea of it being someway connected to my earlier work, particularly with Miles. I think that’s more the instrumentation of the group. I like to think of the music as being “as-of-now.” That really wasn’t part of my thinking.

To read the full interview click here