Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Pass It On is the 2008 release by Dave Holland. The album features nine tracks by Dave Holland (upright bass) with Antonio Hart (alto saxophone); Alex Sipagin (trumpet); Robin Eubanks (trombone); Mulgrew Miller (piano); Eric Harland (drums). This stellar sextet debuted at the beginning of 2006 and subsequently did a number of performances before going into the studio to document their rare chemistry. Pass It On features newly-realized arrangements of some potent Holland compositions from past recordings, including 'Lazy Snake' and 'Equality' (from 1995's Dream of the Elders), the uptempo burner 'Double Vision' (from 1984's Seeds of Time).
JazzTimes (p.86) - "With this group, Holland addresses material and musical relationships old and new. He and Eubanks share many sensibilities, including a taste for organic odd-time writing..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he rich consistency of his writing is deeply compelling."
Dave Holland (Bass)/Dave Holland Sextet (Bass): Dave Holland (upright bass); Antonio Hart (alto saxophone); Alex Sipagin (trumpet); Robin Eubanks (trombone); Mulgrew Miller (piano); Eric Harland (drums).
Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (08/2007).
Using a sextet, upright bassist Holland sets the bar even higher than on his previous efforts, adding the always tasteful pianist Mulgrew Miller and a four-horn front line that is relentless. The jaunty opening number, "The Sum of All Parts," is a 5/4 African percussion-based piece led by Robin Eubanks with folded-in alto and trumpet and witty counterpoint. Adding a light samba feel during the upbeat "Fast Track" with the horns in perfect unison, the ensemble shifts up to hard bop. A 10/8 choppy and bouncy "Modern Times" also uses Brazilian inferences and sees Antonio Hart switching to soprano. On the soulful side, the title track recalls visions of Horace Silver - a groovy, fun boogaloo that has "radio hit" written all over it, while "Lazy Snake" takes the soul element deep underground and contrasts it with a suggestion of stark surrealism. Then there's the near 14-minute, free-based, diffuse "Rivers Run" (dedicated to Sam Rivers), which features the accented by the bowed bass of Holland, building in intensity as the horns step up the sonic density in darker hues. Of course, this band can easily drive music hard, as on the post-bopper "Equality," which turns sullen and funky, then swings angularly.