CD Prime Directive (CD 984200), Audio Other
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Prime Directive


  • 1. Prime Directive
    2. Looking Up
    3. Make Believe
    4. Seeking Spirit, A
    5. High Wire
    6. Jugglers Parade
    7. Candlelight Vigil
    8. Wonders Never Cease
    9. Downtime
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 547950

  • Credits
    ProducerDave Holland
    EngineerJames Farber

    Personnel: Dave Holland (acoustic bass); Chris Potter (soprano, alto & tenor saxophones); Robin Eubanks (trombone, cowbell); Steve Nelson (vibraphone, marimba); Billy Kilson (drums).
    Recorded at Avatar Studios, New York, New York from December 10-12, 1998.
    PRIME DIRECTIVE was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album by an Individual or Group.
    Personnel: Chris Potter (saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Dave Holland (double bass); Robin Eubanks (trombone, cowbells); Steve Nelson (vibraphone, marimba); Billy Kilson (snare drum).
    Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (12/10/1998-12/??/1998).
    Photographer: W. Patrick Hinely.
    You may have to wait a while between Dave Holland-led releases, but it's always worth it. Tremendous taste prevents Holland from making unsatisfying music. He is a great leader in the truest senses of the word -- he gives his team space, trusts their abilities and judgment, yet all the while remains firmly in command and infuses the results with his own style and personality. Prime Directive is a wonderful jazz album. These 77 minutes and nine tracks do not cheat or disappoint. The straight-ahead tunes -- composed by double-bassist Holland and his talented band mates (one each) -- all bear Holland's distinctive rhythmic patterns and harmonics. A fine example is the title track, on which Robin Eubanks on trombone and Chris Potter on saxophones hold a stimulating musical conversation over the rhythm section's driving groove. For listeners who prefer a more deliberate pace, there's the searching, contemplative "Make Believe," with Steve Nelson's lovely vibraphone work appointing the mood. On the hopeful, "A Seeking Spirit," fans will be tapping along to the rhythmic feast offered up by the leader and his pace-setting partner Billy Kilson on drums. The melancholy "Candlelight Vigil" presents Holland at his bowed best. Finally, "Wonders Never Cease" finds the entire band at the height of their collective, improvisational prowess. Prime Directive is recommended; a great leader is, indeed, hard to find. ~ Brian Bartolini

  • Critic Reviews
    Entertainment Weekly (3/3/00, p.75) - "...This is modern jazz enriched with technical aplomb that never skimps on adventure, rhythmic flexibility, or lyrical purpose." - Rating: A-
    Q (3/00, p.101) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...anothyer piano-less contemporary jazz session, with cerebral funk, Latin and African-tinged tunes and a dreamy ballad titled 'Make Believe'....consistently involving and interesting..."
    CMJ (3/20/00, p.33) - "...features a smooth, even-toned soundwith dexterous playing ina variety of time signatures....excellent..."
    Down Beat (8/00, p.27) - Ranked #4 Jazz Album in Downbeat "Critics Poll 2000".
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