Far more than one of the jazz’s greatest bassists, The Wolverhampton, England, native Dave Holland has inhabited the music’s adventurous edge ever since Miles Davis hired him to anchor his band in 1968 as it rapidly morphed from an acoustic powerhouse to a pioneering fusion combo. A master of tone and rhythm, the bassist, composer, and bandleader is now in his fifth decade as a performer and his music possesses a rich and kaleidoscopic history. His path has led him from the frontiers of free improvisation to his modern ensembles that fully embody the Sam Rivers-instilled philosophy of “playing all of it”. Solo, and in collaboration, Holland became a dominant voice in the 1970s – partnering with Rivers, and working with folk and rock musicians such as Bonnie Raitt and John Hartford, and even had a passing encounter with Jimi Hendrix. He formed his first working quintet in 1983, and released “Jumpin’ In”, and continued to develop other varied and fruitful relationships with artists such as Anthony Braxton, Stan Getz, Cassandra Wilson, Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Betty Carter, Pat Metheny, Kenny Wheeler, Bill Frisell, Roy Haynes and Herbie Hancock over the course of his career. Holland returns to the Skopje Jazz Festival with his aptly-named Prism project featuring ingenious keyboardist Craig Taborn, former SFJAZZ Collective drummer Eric Harland and Kevin Eubanks, a brilliant guitarist who led The Tonight Show band for years. Combining the celebrated virtuosity of Taborn on electric and acoustic pianos and the soulful fire of Eubanks in the front line with Harland’s matchless finesse and expressiveness, this decidedly plugged-in quartet is an explosive outlet for Holland at his best.
21 October Universal Hall, 20:00