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Dave Holland


Dave Holland Dave Holland started playing ukulele at the age of four, switching to guitar at ten and bass guitar at 13. He took some piano lessons as a child, but was at first mostly self-taught, learning from pop music songbooks and by listening to the radio. He played in dance bands with friends. As a teenager, Holland took up the double bass, learning primarily by playing along with records. In 1966, he began playing with many of the musicians with whom he would collaborate over the next two decades -- musicians like trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, saxophonist John Surman, and pianist John Taylor. Holland acknowledges being influenced by Mingus, LaFaro, Jimmy Garrison, and Gary Peacock at this point in his career. Holland also became interested in many 20th-century classical composers, especially Bela Bartok. Holland played London clubs with England's top jazz musicians, as well as visiting dignitaries like Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, and Joe Henderson. In July of 1968, Miles Davis heard him at Ronnie Scott's and asked him to join his band. Holland promptly relocated to New York and participated in the making of several classic Davis recordings, including In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. In 1970, he co-founded (with Anthony Braxton, Chick Corea, and Barry Altschul) the group Circle, who embraced free jazz concepts. In the early '70s, he played with Stan Getz, Thelonious Monk, and Sam Rivers. In 1975, he formed the Gateway Trio -- with Jack DeJohnette (drums) and John Abercrombie (guitar) -- a group who would continue to record and tour intermittently for the next 25 years. In the early '80s, Holland worked extensively with Sam Rivers, and organized his own band, a quintet with Wheeler, Julian Priester (trombone), Steve Coleman (alto sax), and Steve Ellington (drums). In the '80s and '90s, Holland worked as an educator, heading the summer jazz workshop at the Banff School in Banff, Alberta, Canada from 1983 until 1990. From 1987 until 1990 he was a faculty member at the New England Conservatory of Music. Aside from leading his own group, Holland's musical activities in the '90s included projects with DeJohnette, Gateway, and Herbie Hancock. He also recorded with Joe Lovano, Gary Burton, and Jim Hall. Holland's late-'90s quartet included Robin Eubanks, Steve Nelson (vibes), Chris Potter (saxophone), and Billy Kilson (drums).

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