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Dave Holland is Overwhelming Choice of <i>Downbeat's</i> Critics - 2002-08-25

Jazz bassist and bandleader Dave Holland has swept "Downbeat" magazine's Critics Poll. He's the first artist ever to win four categories, including Jazz Artist, Jazz Album, Acoustic Group and Acoustic Bassist of the Year. VOA's Doug Levine tells us more about the critics' overwhelming choice in "Downbeat's" 50th annual Critics Poll, Dave Holland.

The title track of the Dave Holland Quintet's CD, Not For Nothin, has been voted Jazz Album of the Year in Downbeat's latest Critics Poll.

Dave Holland has always been drawn to string instruments. He taught himself to play ukulele at age four, and became proficient on guitar, bass and cello. At 13, he began as a professional bass player in his native England, and by 17, was a featured bassist with a local dance band.

By age 20, Dave Holland was one of London's busiest bass players. He performed alongside guitar master John McLaughlin appeared with chamber orchestras and did studio work for television, film and radio.

While visiting London, trumpeter Miles Davis was so impressed by the young bassist he hired him to play on three of his best albums, Files de Kiliminjaro, In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew. Holland then worked with a virtual who's who of jazz, including Thelonious Monk, Stan Getz, Betty Carter and Chick Corea. Holland's 1972 solo album Conference of The Birds marked the beginning of his 30-year association with ECM Records.

Dave Holland's album Not For Nothin', featuring For All You Are, garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album earlier this year. While it didn't win the Grammy, the album was at the top of Downbeat's Critics Poll, 35 votes ahead of ECM label mates Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette.

The Dave Holland Quintet also received the Critics Poll Award for Acoustic Group of the Year. Of his group, Dave Holland says "The musicians and the music fit together in a fortuitous way, a special moment in time."

Dave Holland's first big band album, What Goes Around, is due out in September. In support of the release, Holland will lead the 12-piece band on a tour across the United States and Europe.

From Not For Nothin, here's the Dave Holland Quintet's Chris Potter on saxophone, Robin Eubanks on trombone, Steve Nelson on vibraphone, Billy Kilson on drums and Dave Holland on bass with Cosmosis.