The third album by the current edition of the Dave Holland Quintet, Not for Nothin' documents a unit supremely in balance. The album comprises five Holland originals and a tune each by saxman Chris Potter, trombonist Robin Eubanks, vibraphonist-marimbist Steve Nelson, and drummer Billy Kilson. Each is a virtuoso, and Holland gives them ample rope; with many tours under their belt, they reward his trust by emphasizing collective imperatives -- contrapuntal dialogue, call-and-response, background riffs -- while never sublimating their voice. Eubanks, an unsung grandmaster, uncorks a handful of jaw-dropping solos, manipulating time and timbre with surgical precision. Always a scratch improviser with uncanny control of his instrument, Potter has begun to vocalize his sound, imparting rich narrative underpinning to his statements. Nelson adds harmonic weight and textural variety to the asymmetrical melodies and angular meters that mark the songs, which draw from a global well of scales and beats. Kilson animates every measure with precise, mighty grooves, finding unexpected perspectives, matching the leader's formulations for logic and pulse. The master bassist knits everything together; not unlike Art Blakey or Miles Davis, the force of his tonal personality -- blending the complex and the elemental -- stamps the sound of his band of individualists for the full 73 minutes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I believe the current century of music we regularly encounter is a perpetuation of trends. Rather than the true, uninhibited, originality of musical concept that made the last century of music clearly the most important to date, it appears we are subjected to the industries gluttony. Subjected to a time where the only music a record company can confidently release is music that has already been heard. I often tire of hearing the imitators run flawlessly, without risk, through standards played as they were 30, 40, and 50 years ago. To play music of a time where innovation was applauded seems ironic and contradictory to our present typical approaches. It is saddening to hear music rehashed with such irreverence. While the music business packages the next Charlie Parker by finding an attractive, young, well dressed man who can play his lines over a Jamey Abersold jam CD , we are fortunate to have a small pocket of originality within modern jazz. Dave Holland perseveres with another album of brilliant original writings that incorporates hauntingly beautiful melodies over a groove and fiery drive of quick tempo Latin feel. These compositions become a vehicle of improvisation for some of the finest musicians on the planet. The interaction of these musicians leaves me in awe as they tease each other with harmonic concepts and rhythm. A diamond in the rough, ¿Not For Nothin' ¿ has more purpose then the title of this album states. Its purpose is to provide us with insight of how refreshing and spiritual new ideas can be.
I agree wholeheartedly with Wiliam Mansor's excellent review and he is absolutely correct. It is extremely refreshing and uplifting to find music that is original, substantial and meaningful in these days and times. I just wanted to add that the quality of these musicians is second to none. Robin Eubanks may be the finest trombone player of all times. Steve Nelson has been backing some of the very finest musicians for years, simply because he is absolutely great and no apologies needed to Milt Jackson. Dave Holland is a vertuoso double bass giant, composer, teacher, and arranger. Chris Potter is from the Bob Mintzer school of superb sax playing and his subtle touches and remarkable interpretations are amazing. They play together in a way that weaves and layers sound, tone, pace, and rhythm. It is a treat to the senses, and always flawless. This is the most difficult of all music to write, arrange, and produce, yet it is pure, authentic, hard core jazz. I believe this is DHB's best studio release without a doubt. It is flat fantastic. It is a major acomplishment of the highest order. This is an essential item in any decent jazz collection.