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Dave Holland Octet: Pathways

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Dave Holland, much like bass giant, composer and bandleader Charles Mingus before him, thinks and listens as intently as he plays. By doing so, this British-born, New York-based luminary creates maximum emotional impact and meaning with every carefully considered note he produces. In at least one instance on Pathways, the Mingus influence is literal as well as conceptual. Witness the sly manner in which the mid-section of the earthy yet eloquent bass solo on “How’s Never” alludes to Mingus’ gospel-fueled opening lines on 1959’s “Better Git It in Your Soul.”

A master of concision, cohesion and propulsion-three qualities very much in evidence throughout Pathways-Holland also evokes the “social music” spirit of Miles Davis, in whose band he was featured between 1968 and 1970. His tenure included such landmark albums as In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, as well as a performance with Davis at England’s historic 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.

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