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Jazz-Funk Persuasion Rules the Night

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Tuesday December 03, 2013

From The New York Times

Jazz-Funk Persuasion Rules the Night
Dave Holland Comes to Birdland With Kevin Eubanks

By Nate Chinen

The album of the year in 1989, according to Down Beat magazine’s annual critics’ poll, was “Extensions,” an imposingly strong debut by the Dave Holland Quartet. Featuring Mr. Holland on bass, Steve Coleman on alto saxophone, Kevin Eubanks on guitar and Marvin Smitty Smith on drums, it was a lesson in post-bop transition, poised between polarities: tight and loose, inside and out, acoustic and electric, hot and cool.

What that album has to do with Prism, the crackerjack band that Mr. Holland brought to Birdland last week, is partly a matter of personnel. Strictly speaking, there was no follow-up to “Extensions.” Beginning in the 1990s, Mr. Holland moved on to other bands, a few of them extremely accomplished; Mr. Coleman became a kind of sage, and his own subgenre, in the avant-garde. As for Mr. Eubanks, he headed to “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” serving as its bandleader for 15 years, with Mr. Smith at his side.

Separate worlds, in other words. But this fall Mr. Holland released “Prism” (Dare2), an album that reunited him with Mr. Eubanks on the common ground of super-articulate jazz-funk. The album also features the pianist Craig Taborn and the drummer Eric Harland, musicians known for their virtuoso flexibility of style. This lineup has had ample time on tour, notably over the last month, to coalesce into a collective.

To read the full review click here