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Dave Holland: Prism

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Wednesday September 04, 2013

From Pop Matters

Dave Holland: Prism
By Will Layman

In the early 1970s, if you were listening to instrumental music played by electric guitar, electric keyboards, and very busy drums, all executing tricky business and intricate patterns that would explode into fireworks of improvising, you were a fusion fan. “Fusion” was a kind of jazz-rock music that blossomed brilliantly for only a few years (Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House, John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchetra, Tony Williams’ Lifetime, and the band Weather Report, for example) only to quickly flame out. This “plugged in” jazz seemed to come from Miles Davis’ experiments in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, but it didn’t take long for it to become lame instrumental funk, so-called “smooth jazz”, indulgence in various forms.

But, at its best, it was marvelous.

And acoustic jazz bassist Dave Holland—who played on some of those great Miles records that birthed the stuff but never really had a “fusion band”, per se—has now created the coolest fusion record I’ve heard in decades.

To read the full review click here