Conference of the Birds (Remastered) David Holland Quartet
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- 1Four Winds06:41
- 2Q & A08:38
- 3Conference of the Birds04:39
- 5Now Here (Nowhere)04:37
Info for Conference of the Birds (Remastered)
It had been preceded by ECM duo albums with Barre Phillips and with Derek Bailey as well as the cooperative band Circle’s great Paris Concert, but Conference of the Birds, recorded in 1972, was Dave Holland’s first album as a full-fledged leader. An album of driving, progressive jazz it is also of historical significance as the only occasion when Sam Rivers and Anthony Braxton, two of the music’s most strikingly original saxophonists, recorded together. Inside Dave’s compositions they could meet – if briefly - and share ideas. This summit meeting received raves from the press. “If you’ve found the new music lacking in swing, cohesion and variety, get to this album,” insisted Down Beat in a five star review. “It’s Holland’s date but each man contributes equally. The six Holland tunes offer great improvisational frameworks, and his bass playing, both arco and pizzicato, couldn’t be better... Don’t miss this one.”
„Dave Holland's debut as a leader, Conference of the Birds, doesn't seem to get its proper due outside of avant-garde circles; perhaps, when discussing the greats, Holland's name simply doesn't spring to mind as immediately. Whatever the case, Conference of the Birds is one of the all-time avant-garde jazz classics, incorporating a wide spectrum of '60s innovations. Part of the reason it works so well is the one-time-only team-up of two avant-garde legends: the fiery, passionate Sam Rivers and the cerebral Anthony Braxton; they complement and contrast one another in energizing fashion throughout. But much credit is due to Holland; make no mistake, even though he throws the spotlight to Rivers and Braxton, this is his date. The repertoire consists entirely of Holland originals, and his work here established him as easily the most advanced bassist/composer since Charles Mingus. His compositions show an impressive range: twisting, unpredictable themes accompanied by storming solos (the classic "Four Winds," "Interception"); free improvisation in group-dialogue form ("Q&A"); inside/outside avant-bop ("See Saw"); and surprisingly lovely, meditative flute showcases (the classic title track, "Now Here (Nowhere)"). No matter how free things get, Holland's pieces always set up logical frameworks with a clear-minded focus, which makes it easier to get a handle on the advanced musicianship of Holland's quartet (which also includes drummer Barry Altschul, who played in Chick Corea's Circle with Braxton and Holland). The absence of a piano frees up Rivers and Braxton to play off of one another, but the task of driving the ensemble then falls to Holland, and his prominent, muscular lines manage to really push his front line all by themselves. This album is a basic requirement for any avant-garde jazz collection, and it's also one of the most varied and accessible introductions to the style one could hope for.“ (Steve Huey, AMG)
"If you've found the new music lacking in swing, cohesion and variety, get to this album," insisted DownBeat in a five star review. "Don't miss this one".
David Holland, bass
Anthony Braxton, reeds, flute
Sam Rivers, reeds, flute
Barry Altschul, percussion, marimba
Recorded on November 30, 1972 at Allegro Studio, New York City
Engineered by Tony May
Produced by Manfred Eicher
Over the course of a nearly five-decade career, bassist and composer Dave Holland has never stopped evolving, reinventing his concept and approach with each new project while constantly honing his instantly identifiable voice. From the electric whirlwind of Miles Davis’ electric band to the pioneering avant-garde quartet Circle to his own acclaimed big band, Holland has been at the forefront of jazz in many of its forms since his earliest days. The Boston Globe praises Holland as “a master bassist and bandleader, one of the most sophisticated composers and arrangers in the jazz world.”
Longtime collaborator Kevin Eubanks was recently featured in Holland’s visceral electric quartet, PRISM, and joins Holland once again in a new trio for what promises to be an exciting and innovative journey.