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Dave Holland - current status as a Bass Player?

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Bruce Lindfield, Feb 8, 2002.

  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    As mentioned in Music, I went to see a concert last night, where the featured work was one written by a respected contemporary composer especially for Dave Holland -sort of like a concerto for Jazz Double Bass and Chamber Orchestra. "Bass Inventions"

    It was a fascinating piece - not least for having the contrast between the styles of the "classcial "strings" and the Jazz pizz style of Dave Holland which was what the composer was interested in - so at times you had a Jazz rhytm section plus two string quartets.

    So, the effect of this is bringing Dave Holland to a new contempoarary "classical" audience - I know most of the Jazz fans in my town and the audience for this concert was not them at all - but rather the sort of people who would go to a "challenging" classical concert.

    His playing was great - really exciting in places and he got a big hand. But then he took an encore without the orchestra and said he was going to play a tune called "May Dance" , I think. This was breathtaking and got even more applause from the audience which was stunned and surprised. Huge reaction!

    So - where does this leave Dave Holland? Is this just a blurring of Jazz/Contemporary.Classical that is happening all over or is it his status as a Jazz Bass Playing "icon" ?

    PS - does anybody know more about the solo piece - May Dance?
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Classical/jazz fusions go all the way back to "Rhapsody in Blue".

    There's been a large number of them over the years involving artists ranging from Dave Brubeck to Frank Zappa. I even can have a recording of one with a blues band :confused: that Seiji Ozawa recorded with the SF Symphony back in the 1970s.

    A number of jazzers (not just bassists) have worked in concerto situations like you described, have you heard the one that Gavin Bryars wrote for Charlie Haden?

    As far as where does it leave Dave, probably hustling his next gig :D
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    This is the only other similar situation I have been able to find. Gavin Bryars was actually a Jazz Bassist himself in England for many years. There was a documentary on BBC Digital TV last Sunday about musical crossovers and they interviewed Bryars.

    So he said he was playing in Jazz bands and then heard John Cage's music and decided to become a composer. He said in the interview that, from that moment, he put his Double Bass away in a case and didn't touch it again for 17 years!

    The Turnage piece for Dave Holland, is a major work and is mentioned in all the UK music magazines as an important premiere - I really want to get a CD of it as I didn't really give it my full attention as I was totally wrapped up in watching and hearing Dave Holand play a few feet away from me. It was so great to really be able to hear the bass in a concert, standing proud as the leading voice and not buried behind the rest of a rhythm section. ;)
  4. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    On the flip side of the very rare Deustche (sorry) Grammophone recording of Gary Karr playing that Hans Werner Henze bass concerto there's a piece featuring Corky Siegel of the Siegel-Schwall Band. Symphony orchestra with blues harmonica soloist.

    If you ever find that record, let me know, too. I have an old, home-made cassette.
  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    As far as jazzers working in a concerto context, Eddie Daniel's "Breakthrough" and "Five Seasons" are remarkeable. Too bad the first one's out of print; it had Eddie switching on a dime between full-bore classical stuff to jazz combo+symphony strings.

    John Patitucci did an unusual album a while ago called "Heart of the Bass." The first three tracks were a concerto for electric and acoustic bass written by Jeff Beal. Interesting concept, but I don't think Beal's composition was very good. Patitucci still drops some chamber-ish stuff in his recent releases.

    Keith Jarrett, Wynton and Branford, Jacques Loussier and Andre Previn (bleh) regularly cross the divide between classical and jazz.

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