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Dave Holland: 'Uncharted Territories'

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Friday May 11, 2018

From Something Else Reviews!

Dave Holland – Uncharted Territories (2018)
By: S. Victor Aaron

The genesis for these new free improv sessions Uncharted Territories (May 11, 2018 by Dare2 Records) goes back even further, to Dave Holland’s pre-New York days and his association with UK sax giant Evan Parker. As fledgling unknowns, the two had played together in John Stevens’ Spontaneous Music Ensemble when SME made a landmark album in the history of British improvised music, Karyobin. Holland resumed going down the path of free jazz as soon as he left Miles’ band, joining Chick Corea, Barry Altschul and Anthony Braxton for the short-lived Circle ensemble, commencing a long association with avant-garde saxophonist Sam Rivers and of course, making a masterful debut as a leader titled Conference of the Birds with Rivers, Braxton and Altschul on hand.

[…] There are moments that more than justify the great stature of the leader himself. Isolating the drums and bass on Holland and Smith’s tet-a-tet (“Bass – Percussion T2”) illuminates part of the genius of Dave Holland: his ability to stay rhythmically inventive, melodic and locked into what the drummer is doing all at once. Holland’s lovely pure tone is up close and exposed as he is making up a melody on the fly for “Bass – Percussion T1” with Smith on drums. As soon as he finds some luscious groove, Smith is there to exploit it.

A blessed combination of two shores and two generations but a remarkably single minded mission to make magic from dust, the double CD free jazz extravaganza Uncharted Territories continues the fertile tradition of cross-pollination between the American and British free jazz scenes. As the man in the middle of this tradition, Dave Holland continues to add meaningful music to an already ample, rewarding catalog.

Read more and listen to the first track here