Dave Holland
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The Monterey Suite I - Bring It On - 11:55
The Monterey Suite II - Free for All - 17:33
The Monterey Suite III - A Time Remembered - 11:42
The Monterey Suite IV - Happy Jammy - 9:33
Ario - 11:05
Mental Images - 9:21
Last Minute Man - 7:13


Antonio Hart - alto sax, soprano sax & flute
Mark Gross - alto sax
Chris Potter - tenor sax
Gary Smulyan - baritone sax
Robin Eubanks - trombone
Jonathan - Arons - trombone
Josh Roseman - trombone
Taylor Haskins - trumpet & flugelhorn
Alex " Sasha" Sipiagin - trumpet & flugelhorn
Duane Eubanks - trumpet & flugelhorn
Steve Nelson - vibraphone & marimba
Dave Holland - double-bass
Billy Kilson - drums

GRAMMY Award Winner - 2006- Jazz Large Ensemble
GRAMMY Award Winner - 2006- Jazz Large Ensemble


I'm finding a lot more to like on Overtime.."The Monterey Suite," begins in a bright, celebratory spirit, with brass and reeds lapping over each other like successive waves.
Holland’s approach to big band is an idiosyncratic mix of old and new. The sax section has that gritty, chewy substance of the Basie New Testament Band and the excited brass sometimes suggests the optimistic exuberance of another old big band, Ted Heath’s. The off-kilter meters, on the other hand, are balls-out modern.
Paul de Barms - Downbeat - April 2005 Read the full article

Holland’s unerring ability to get inside the groove of any piece also remains untarnished, whether on the staggering polyrhythms of Robin Eubanks’ Mental Images,” the only non-Holland composition of the disc, or the darker, more brooding “Ario.”
John Kelman, All About Jazz

Hats off. The ambitious charts make room for loads of micro action, like reed-section riffing, brass-section swirling and rhythm-section funking. But the composer's craft unites the elements into a swinging whole. Seldom do the tunes become a series of mere events.
Jim Macnie, Downbeat, May 2005

I want dialogue," says bassist Dave Holland. "The quality of community in ensemble is central to everything I've done. Jazz is an in-the-moment narrative, and it's different every time. No other music in the Western world is like that,..."
Ted Panken - Downbeat - August 2005 Read the full article

Legendary bassist Dave Holland premiered his big band at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2000. At the time, his quintet was thriving, and therefore he wasn’t thinking much beyond the initial engagement of his 13-piece ensemble. After all, as any student of modern jazz knows, the economics of keeping a big band alive and on the road is, in most cases, cost prohibitive. But almost immediately, his jazz orchestra generated a high level of interest, and, as Holland notes, a “ripple effect” took place. “I had reservations it would work,” he says. “But the big band became an unexpected and wonderful success.” The group defied the odds and profitably toured, touching down throughout Europe twice as well as playing dates in the U.S., including shows at both the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall.

Less than five years after it was born, the Dave Holland Big Band is inarguably the top big band in jazz. In addition to scoring top honors in jazz polls, its first CD, What Goes Around, scored a Grammy in 2003 for best large ensemble jazz album. The follow-up disc, Overtime, the debut release on Holland’s own label, Dare2 Records (distributed by Sunnyside Records in the U.S. and Universal Music France outside of the States), continues the big band story with a new chapter of passionate, exhilarating excursions.

“The new album represents the growth of the big band,” says Holland, who composed and arranged seven of the eight pieces, including the four-part “The Monterey Suite.” “We set out to create an ensemble sound. This record documents the unifying sense we have developed. I can’t say enough about the musicians. Without them, these pieces are just notes on paper.”

Tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, a member of the big band and the quintet, said in an interview recently that Holland’s leadership was special. “Dave approaches the band as something you wind up and let go. Of course, he’s serious about the music. He wants us all to play at our highest level. He’s very curious to see how far we can take an idea and run with it.”

On Overtime, you hear the collaborative results: a rich, full sound that rolls and sometimes roils; lyricism with warm-toned harmonies; mystery within the romance; a spirited flow, a thrilling fury, a buoyant dance. And the conversations aren’t blowing sessions, but lively exchanges among inspired musicians listening to each other.

“As a player, I like the situation where you point me in a direction, and let me give a piece momentum,” says Holland. “That’s my aim, giving everyone in the big band the opportunity to delve into their own creative possibilities. There’s a fine line for balance—utilizing the band for my composing and arranging, but also keeping the flexibility and freedom in the music.”

The leader takes cues from both Duke Ellington and his former employer, Miles Davis. “Ellington wrote wonderful music, but what the musicians in his orchestra brought to the tunes took them to another level,” he says. “And I liked Miles’ nondictatorial approach. He steered his bands subtly and used the strengths of his band mates. I like the story of when Trane joined Miles’ band. He kept asking Miles what to do, and he ignored him. This went on for two weeks, and Trane was confused. But then he realized that Miles wanted him to figure out on his own what to do.”

Overtime was recorded in November 2002, after six weeks of touring. “When I formed the band, my goal was to maintain a steady personnel roster,” says Holland. “I didn’t want to have a group that I put together with whoever was available at a certain time. I wanted to create a sound with a group of soloists and give everyone a chance to stand up and be heard.”

The band on the CD is comprised of saxophonists Antonio Hart (alto, soprano and flute), Mark Gross (alto), Gary Smulyan (baritone) and Potter (tenor); trombonists Robin Eubanks, Jonathan Arons and Josh Roseman; flugelhorn/trumpet players Taylor Haskins, Alex “Sasha” Sipiagin and Duane Eubanks; Steve Nelson on vibraphone and marimba; and Billy Kilson on drums.

The first four tracks on Overtime form “The Monterey Suite,” commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival and performed there in 2001, a week and a half after 9/11. “Writing for Monterey was really my first attempt to fully compose and arrange for big band because I had formed the group only a year earlier,” Holland says. “I returned from a tour in Austria the day before 9/11 and still had the last part to write. But I couldn’t compose because I was so stunned by the horrific event. But finally, a day before rehearsals, I spent 14 hours locked in my music room and completed ‘Happy Jammy.’ As it turned out, the suite and our performance of it at Monterey was such a positive assertion of the human spirit overcoming adversity.”

“The Monterey Suite” opens with the swinging tune “Bring It On,” which captures the anticipation and feel at the beginning of a typical jazz fest. “The opening is a fanfare,” says Holland. “It’s an invitation to be present, to come on, to see friends you haven’t seen in a long time—and in the most fundamental sense, to gather a group of people together.” That leads into “Free for All,” which opens with a gentle bass soliloquy, then blooms into a letting-go spirit where the entire band expresses its freedom. Holland wrote the alluring, yet mysterious “A Time Remembered” to capture the bittersweet edge of reminiscing about the past, and then ends the suite with the uptempo surge of “Happy Jammy” that captures the jam-session spirit of festivals where musicians play off each other.

Overtime continues with the impassioned “Ario,” a rearranged tune that originally appeared on the quintet’s Point of View album, and Robin Eubanks’ composition “Mental Images,” which features a series of terrific horn exchanges above a stimulating rhythm. The CD closes with the rowdy “Last-Minute Man,” a number tinged by funky grooves reminiscent of Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes and Snoop Dogg. “I listen to them and feel they’re doing a lot of creative work,” says Holland. “I’m not totally influenced by them, but there is something in the groove of this piece that reminds me of them.”

As for starting his own Dare2 imprint, Holland says it’s been in the back of his mind for several years. With all the support and interest in his music in the last several years, he figured it was time to take the leap of faith and go it on his own. “One of the initial motivations was to be independent, to own my own masters, to have more control over the entire process of releasing an album,” he says. “But in the long term, there’s a lot of promise in making music this way, especially with the changing environment in the recording industry. With the Internet and the new ways of accessing music, such as with mp3s, there’s a new climate that offers independent labels like mine more of a chance of survival.”


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