NPR Calls Dave Holland "A Jazz Bassist's Bassist"

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Monday July 26, 2010

from NPR

Dave Holland: A Jazz Bassist’s Bassist
By Karen Michel

Jazz bassist Dave Holland is known for the lyricism of his playing, for his mentoring of younger players and for his humility as a bandleader. Holland began his career in England as a teenager and moved to the U.S. on the promise of a gig with Miles Davis. Since then, he’s stayed put on these shores, developing a solid career as a jazz bassist’s bassist and releasing a prodigious stream of albums.

. . .

By the time he was 19, Holland was playing with the house band at Ronnie Scott’s, a legendary jazz club in London, where he got to play with Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins. It was there that his friend Philly Joe Jones helped Holland get his first big gig. That was the night Miles Davis walked into the club.

“As I was getting on the stand for the last set, Philly Joe came up to the bandstand, grabbed my arm and said, ‘Miles has got a message for you: He wants you to join his band,’ “ Holland says. “I said, ‘Come on, you’re kidding me,’ because Philly Joe is a bit of a prankster. ‘No, no, it’s serious.’ “

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