Amid endless choices, the sound of a Dave Holland bass line compels attention. 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.” The Wolverhampton, England, native got his big break from Miles Davis, with whom he played during the trumpet legends epochal Bitches Brew period. 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.
In 2005, Holland formed Dare2 Records, after a long-standing relationship with ECM Records, the label where he had developed into a signature artist. Holland created Dare2 “to have more control over the entire process of releasing an album. But in the long term, there’s a lot of promise in making music this way, especially with the changing environment in the recording industry.” He has five albums on Dare2, including the Grammy-award winning Overtime (2005), Critical Mass (2006) and Pass It On (2008). Pathways (2010), the debut of the Dave Holland Octet, was nominated for a Grammy Award for best large ensemble album. Dave’s latest release is Hands, a collaboration with Spanish flamenco guitar legend, Pepe Habichuela.