I flipped out for this one! The second QUINTET in the histor
Jazzcat | Genoa, Italy Italy | 01/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first time I saw this dvd at a friend's place, I didn't know almost anything about Dave Holland's combo. And eventually as a pure bebopper (I'm a Jazz musician myself), I wasn't aware that I could like some free Jazz. Sure I already liked the first two albums from Ornette, few things from Coltrane space period but that was it. I didn't like free Jazz. But I flipped out for this thing which is a sort of free-architectonic-aggressive music! I immediatly went banana and went to the store to buy this dvd (in the future I did buy all Dave's Holland cds which are marvellous Jazz experiences)! I immediatly fell in love with this band. The incredible complexity of the music played by the quintet and at the same time the singing quality and awkward angles of their melodic lines (played in unison), the rhythmn richness, here really blew me away! I was shocked. I realized in that moment that there was a Jazz I wasn't aware of that could be an original evolution of bebop and free at the same time that produced something new of high musical quality ... incredible. Seeing this quintet performing really excited me! Consider that it's a pianoless quintet, but the music is never empty thanxs to the unbelievable bass job from Dave. Every single component is a star here but Steve Coleman and Smitty Smith really floored me (not saying what I tought about Dave's bass textures, unbelievable!!). Coleman and Smith are able of an incredible rhytmic displacement! UNBELIEVABLE MUSICIANS! But the things I want to point out are the level of the compositions, extremely high, the display of creativity, the cohesiveness and the interplay of the quintet. Everything is of "venusian level" here. Of course Dave is having a really huge success nowadays with this music and his new quintet that is rooted in this experience. I must call this one the second MONSTER quintet in the history of Jazz. The first that blew me away in the same way, was the one that played at Massey Hall in '53 the first time I listened to that record. ENOUGH SAID. Of course there were some other great and revolutionary quintets in the history of Jazz (Miles Davis etc), I know this may sound exaggerated .. but this combo, with Steve Coleman, Robin Eubanks, Smitthy Smith, Wheeler and Holland in the super modern context, is unequalled. Enough said. Mesmerizing. Absolutly to have. Buy it."
Big sound considering no chordal instrument
L.A. SaxMan | Los Angeles, CA | 12/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The ensemble gets a big sound despite having no chordal instrument present. Only the bass and the drums for the Rhythm section. The three horns get a really big sound together and sound like a mini-big-band at times. The compositions and arrangements are very unique, both rhytmically and melodically. This group has a truly unique sound.
I was fortunate enough to recieve this album as a Christmas gift, after asking for it from a family member. There was something about it, probably the great lineup of musicians, and the unique instrumentation that drew me to this DVD.
One thing that I am a tad bit perturbed about is that the video footage was actually recorded in 1986. There's nothing wrong with 1986, it's just that I would expect that maybe the video might have been released earlier, or maybe there would be a more recent recording of equal merit, featuring Dave Holland, that could have been marketed and released the way this one was, in 2006. But then, if I had known that it was recorded in 1986, I might not have wanted to get it. I am sure that Dave Holland has done many things since this recording, and has grown a lot musically. This is my first experience really listening to Dave Holland, although I am aware that he has come out with some big band CD's over the past decade or so.
Overall I am really glad I got to watch the DVD. I have watched it 3 times already after getting it for Christmas. Each musician on here is wonderful and contributes greatly to the ensemble's unique sound. This is a great addition to a jazz collector's library."
Dave Holland's Quintet
Dana E. Burns | Richmond IN | 01/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those who are unfamiliar with Dave Holland and music from the groups he has fronted over the years, and for those who are somewhat familiar with his quintet music, this is a good place to start. It's difficult to go wrong with Dave Holland as far as his playing is concerned. This is a great DVD of a great performance by a great set of musicians. Steve Coleman's alto work is always very good, and all others are in good form. For those of you who view this DVD or hear the CD and find it to be energizing, I want to make a very strong suggestion. Seek out the CD entitled Conference of the Birds under Dave Holland's name. It's the first recording marketed under Dave Holland's name. Don't be deterred by the date of the recording. In the opinion of an obsessive free jazz listener for the past 30 years, this his is his masterpiece recording. If I had only one disc by a group fronted by Dave Holland, Conference of the Birds would be the one. It features Chic Corea on piano, Barry Altschul on drums, and Sam Rivers and Anthony Braxton on reeds and flute. This is subtle music. There is plenty of free playing, but ultimately this is a very subtle set that stands up to the test of time. Good use of space and silence as well as playing. This is one that's easy to overlook. Seek it out. Excellent music, excellent recording, excellent musical experience.