The Dave Holland Trio Offers a First Glance at 'Another Land'
A little over five years ago, bassist Dave Holland brought a new trio into The Village Vanguard that effectively left me scrambling for superlatives. The band, featuring guitarist Kevin Eubanks and drummer Obed Calvaire, was using this weeklong run as a kickoff for its five-week international tour. I caught the first set of opening night, and it's safe to say that my review, for the New York Times, was an unqualified rave.
This trio now has a studio album on the near horizon: Another Land, due out on May 28. For a sense of the earthy yet exploratory character of the album, you couldn't do much better than its first single, "Mashup," which is out today.
The track features a forward-tilt vamp in a slippery meter — count it out and you might parse the phrase as 5-6-6-5-6 — as well as a spirit of absolute play. Holland and Eubanks have a shared affinity for this sort of groove science, going back to their earliest collaborations in the late '80s, and Calvaire strikes just the right balance of muscle and finesse. Holland is playing an electric bass rather than his upright, but it doesn't quite feel right to slot this music under "fusion." As with much of Holland's output, it makes the whole prospect of classification seem musty and beside the point.
Another Land will be released through a new partnership between Holland's own Dare2 Records and the independent British label Edition Records. Two years ago, The Crosscurrents Trio — Holland, saxophonist Chris Potter and tabla master Zakir Hussain — released an album, Good Hope, on Edition. (We featured it in Take Five.)
"Working with Edition Records and its owner Dave Stapleton was a very positive experience," Holland says in a statement, "and I was particularly impressed by the quality of their product and the use of creative strategies suited to the contemporary market." Another Land will be the first of a series of albums released by Edition in collaboration with Dare2, which Holland and his daughter and business manager, Louise Holland, established in 2004.
Another Land will be released on Edition Records on May 28; preorder here.