At nearly 60 years old, jazz bassist and composer Dave Holland is taking chances like a man half his age. After earning nearly universal critical acclaim for his popular quintet, in 2000 he launched a 13-member large ensemble, whose first gig was so successful that other offers soon followed, including a commission from the prestigious Monterey Jazz Fest, which yielded “The Monterey Suite,” the luminescent 50-minute centerpiece of Overtime, the follow-up to the big band's 2003 Grammy-winning debut, What Goes Around. The music here is exciting and accessible, with catchy melodies, elegant harmonies, uptempo grooves, and tricky rhythmic syncopations, executed with precision and exuberance by the leader's much younger bandmates. What's more, despite a long-standing relationship with the distinguished ECM label, Holland had the audacity to release this disc on his very own indie imprint, appropriately titled Dare2 Records. In a climate of corporate-controlled mainstream jazz, this is a real gamble — but the payoff, so far, seems well worth it.
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