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Dave Holland Sextet: Pass It On

Given the power and familiarity of Dave Holland’s longstanding sextet and the quintet before that, going back to the early ’80s, one point of surprise with his new band and recording is a fundamental change: the presence of piano. Mulgrew Miller does the keyboard honors, and along with the three-horn frontline, he makes the band sound, on first impression at least, like Holland’s most “traditional” band in decades.

Glancing impressions can be deceiving, of course. In a way, this sextet is a neat, distinctive halfway context between his quintet and big band. Longtime Holland ally Robin Eubanks on trombone, alto saxist Antonio Hart and trumpeter Alex “Sasha” Sipiagin-all three are members of the Holland big band, as well-asserting a solid frontline, with Miller’s formidable McCoy-ish sound thickening the ensemble texture.

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