Here's to Holland!

by Paul Burmeister

Dave Holland, that is. The 72-year-old English double bassist has put together one of the strongest careers in the history of the jazz idiom. Certainly, the consistent quality of his work and the breadth of his efforts rank him among the greatest contributors in jazz. And, as it goes, most people outside of jazz fandom have probably never heard of him. His excellence is of the quiet variety, despite his prolific touring and recording.
My first exposure to his art was on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew (1969.) Next I was captivated by his classic, Conference of the Birds (1972.) I’ve had the pleasure of seeing his quintet live. When I am asked about favorite this or that, I usually respond by doing a quick mental inventory of the recordings I own and count who appears the most. Holland is by far the bassist I have listened to the most . . . and my favorite.

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