New Album, Pathways

My Octet’s debut recording, Pathways, comes out at the end of March [3/23] but I actually formed the group in 2001 for a tour of Britain that was sponsored by the British Arts Council.  I had always loved the sound of the Duke Ellington small groups, often with a 5 horn front-line plus the rhythm section. The combination of 2 brass and 3 saxes gives access to a wide range of textures and colors and allows a composer to evoke the sound of a big band or create the more intimate sound of a small group.

I also wanted a project that would include at it’s core my regular working quintet (Robin Eubanks, Steve Nelson, Chris Potter, and Nate Smith) and build the music around what we had already developed as a small group.  The additional horns gave me some different compositional options but equally important, the personal sound, style and creative approaches of Antonio Hart (alto), Gary Smulyan (baritone) and Alex Sipiagin (trumpet) add a great deal to the creative mix.

For those that have followed my recording career, know that I often revisit compositions I have recorded at different stages in my career.    Over the years, one of the things that has changed is my approach to playing them. Writing the song is just a starting point and after that the improvisor develops different ways of interpreting it. There are some compositions that seem to remain relevant and that continue to evolve. On Pathways, I chose two older pieces, “Shadow Dance” and “How’s Never?” The former was on Jumpin In’, my debut recording with my first working band over 25 years ago. The latter I first played with the Gateway trio with Jack DeJohnette and  John Abercrombie.

The album was recorded at Birdland, where I recorded with my quintet for the album Extended Play.  Niklaus Troxler contributed the cover artwork as he has on my previous three releases on Dare2 Records.  You’ll be able to pre-order the album from my website here shortly.  It will be available in a standard CD edition, PLUS an edition limited to 1000 copies, and as a download (MP3, Apple Lossless, or FLAC).  If you pre-order a physical copy, you’ll get an immediate download of the album.  Stay tuned for more information coming shortly.


  1. Billbass says:

    Pathways may be your best. All the solo’s are just great!
    The recording is so good, I felt like I was on the stage
    with the band. Downloading the AIFF is a nice feature,
    much better than Itunes.

  2. John Greenspan says:

    “Pathways” is another winner. Dave – I interviewed you on my radio show, Good Morning Jazz, about six or seven years ago the second time you came to Santa Fe. Every month I feature an artist of the month and you are it for May. For those who like to listen to Jazz on line, check us out at

  3. Jon Meier says:

    Great to have a new album and exciting to see you working with an octet now. Even better that we can download it. I appreciate the option of downloading the file in AIFF format, but it would be even better if, in the future, you could make high-resolution downloads available that are 24 bits in length and have sample rates at 88.2 or 96 kilohertz. Please come back to Seattle — we love to hear you live.

  4. Mark Alexander says:

    The form for buying Pathways doesn’t seem to work; I tried the premium package, then just the flac download, on several browsers (Chrome, IE, Firefox) – when I click on the final ‘confirm’ nothing happens.

    1. admin Post author says:

      Hi Mark –

      There were a few glitches with our software today that we’ve been working smooth out. Everything should work now, however. Try again?

      Apologies for an inconvenience you or anyone else might have experienced.

      Thanks again for your support.

      – Team DH

    2. Mark Alexander says:

      All well now – I had a first listen this morning, and it’s great! I love the variety in the groups that Dave puts together.

  5. Carl Baugher says:

    Can’t wait to get this. Thanks for all the great music over the years. As a bassist myself, I’ve been a fan since the late sixties. Keep on!

  6. Mark Porter says:

    I’ve been listening to Dave since Conference of the Birds and have always been a huge fan. Saw the Gateway band live in Dusseldorf in ’83 or ’84, and then rediscovered him after many years when it was hard to find his cds. Glad the internet made him available in the US where it is hard to find any good music at all. Looking forward to seeing him again, maybe in Portland, and I’ll definitely be pre-purchasing the next cd!

  7. floriano says:

    My wife and me are ypur fans as a bass player and as a composer.WE hope to see you soon live in concert in Italy ( just 3 times in the past).Great website!

  8. floriano says:

    Mia moglie ed io siamo tuoi fan entusiasti.Non vedo l’ora di poterti risentire( gia’ 3 volte) dal vivo dalle mie parti in Italia.Complimenti per il sito!!!


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Dave Holland

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