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Two Sides of Dave Holland

Mino Cinelu, Kevin Eubanks & Dave Holland
World Trio,  Intuition Music CD INT 2152 2, 1995 (53:12)

Dave Holland
Ones All,  Intuition Music CD INT 2148 2, 1995 (57:18)

Bassist Dave Holland was born in Wolverhampton, England in 1946 and took up the ukulele at the age of four. At 10 he switched to guitar and finally to bass at 13. The self-taught bassist left school at 15 in order to work full-time as a musician, and then joined the Guildhall School on a full scholarship in 1964. His early influences include Charles Mingus, Jimmy Garrison, and Ron Carter. Holland toured with Miles Davis for two years performing on both bass and cello. Among those who he’s worked include Thelonious Monk, Betty Carter, Stan Getz, Chick Corea, and Anthony Braxton.

Holland is now among the most dynamic bass players in jazz, and in these two recordings he provides a unique perspective on his enormous talent. In a trio, Holland supplies the band’s stability as well as its depth; as a soloist, he finds a way to make music come alive from four fat strings.

With  World Trio, Holland joins guitarist Kevin Eubanks and percussionist Mino Cinelu to provide a rich collection of original compositions that seems to work especially well in a trio setting–each musician having an equal and integral part in the effort. Eubanks’ day gig is as maestro of The Tonight Show band ever since Brandford Marsalis moved on some time ago. In spite of his affable and sometimes silly persona as Jay Leno’s sidekick during monologues, Eubanks demonstrates a serious craftsman at work on this recording. Even if television viewers were treated to more of the talented late night jazz band, I doubt we would hear the depth of Eubanks’ ability in so large an ensemble. It is in an intimate trio setting such as this where he best demonstrates his subtle mastery of the acoustic guitar.

On Holland’s "Dr. Do-Right"–my runaway favorite on the CD–Eubanks plucks and bends the strings with wild abandon, yet never strays far from the melody. All the while Holland and Cinelu provide the perfect percussive accompaniment. Cinelu rarely solos, but he begins "Will ’o the Wisp" to set the stage for Eubanks and Holland to join him in the fun. He even provides some chanting to punctuate all the drumming and shaking.

All of the songs are original compositions and written by individual members of the band. Eubanks’ "Eulogy," which is dedicated to David Eubanks, makes a nice parting tribute to finish the recording. This is a terrific CD!

Listening to  Ones All takes a bit more patience, since Holland performs entirely alone. The bass is central to jazz because it is the very center upon which every other instrument revolves. In spite of this, it is also the instrument least likely to stand out on its own. I’ve witnessed people nodding off during bass solos at jazz clubs, and to entirely appreciate what Holland provides here may take another bassist. Nevertheless, Holland evokes enormous talent and it’s easy to hear the mastery he has over his ax.

Standards such as Mingus’ "Pork Pie Hat" and John Coltrane’s "Mr. P.C." are certainly the most accessible, since they are also the most familiar. On these it is also easiest to hear why Holland is able to make the compositions so fresh. He has a way of finding the essence of a song, making it personal and fresh, and then bringing it to life entirely through an acoustic bass.–  Mark Craemer


World Trio


Mino Cinelu, percussion; Kevin Eubanks, acoustic guitars; Dave Holland, bass.


Produced by Cinelu, Eubanks, Holland. Recorded and mixed at Sound On Sound in New York City.

song titles

The Palantir • The Whirling • Dervish • Over There • Will ’o the Wisp • Dr. Do-Right • The Arch • Mage • Blue Jean • Seven Rings • Eulogy

Ones All


Dave Holland, bass.


Produced by David and Clare Holland. Recorded and mastered at Sear Sound in New York City in May 1993.

song titles

Homecoming • Three Step Dance • Pork Pie Hat • Jumpin’ In • Reminiscence • Mr. P.C. • Little Girl • I’ll Miss You • Cashel Blues • For C.M. • Pass It On • God Bless The Child

Copyright © 1997 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.