Dave Holland

I’m consistently impressed with the work Peter Margasak, John Corbett, and Bill Meyer do every year they cover the Chicago Jazz Festival. So many acts play, and yet every year the three writers pack each preview capsule with knowledge and insight without coming off as stuffy or impenetrable. I don’t know nearly as much about jazz as those three do, but as a person who enjoys music in general I’d highly recommend checking out Dave Holland’s Prism on Saturday night. Most casual jazz listeners might know Holland from his work with Miles Davis, but I’m a huge fan of his 1973 album Conference of the Birds. Recorded for the ECM label, it showcases Holland’s unique style, in which he uses a light touch to produce woody, deep, and resonant tones. My favorite tune is the title track—it features flute and reed by both Sam Rivers and Anthony Braxton, plus some exquisitely spangly percussion from Barry Altschul. It reminds me more of folk or world music than jazz, highlighting Holland’s tendency to play music that’s difficult to pigeonhole and easy to enjoy.

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