REVIEW Dave Holland Leads Collective Improvisation

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Monday December 13, 2010

From The Philadelphia Inquirer

Dave Holland Leads Collective Improvisation
By: Kevin L. Carter

Just as a basketball team with two great scorers has a problem – there’s only one ball – so does a big band with lots of great players. Are there enough notes in the room for everyone?

While that’s not exactly a real concern, the presence of so many top-flight soloists in the Dave Holland Big Band brings up a humorous conundrum. “What Goes Around,” which ended Holland’s second Painted Bride set Saturday night, had tenorist Chris Potter and trombonist Robin Eubanks collectively improvising to establish an intense tone for the show’s end.

The solo of grizzled veteran Potter was the penultimate of the night, and it was at the same time mathematically precise and desperately insistent. Even when he played at rapid-fire tempo, his rhythmic ideas and phrasing were exacting. Eubanks, on the other hand, used his trombone to mimic and expand some of his own electronic ideas; the bending of notes and compression of sounds he created with his hands, mouth, and brain were just as impressive – if not more so – as the stuff he’s done with electronic help.

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