|Saturday, November 20, 2004|
Yesterday night, the Dave Holland Quintet played at the Painted Bride here in Philadelphia. Their date here last year was good, but this one was better. Their elaborations of Holland standards and a couple of new compositions created a magical hour, almost too intense to bear. Holland seemed to be in great spirits, adding delightful improvisations, especially at the start of a stunning rendition of "What Goes Around". Robin Eubanks on trombone was hypnotic, and Steve Nelson on vibes kept the set playful and unpredictable. On drums, Nate Smith built a strong foundation with layers of rhythm, but did not surprise until a solo late in the set. The quintet's standard saxophonists Chris Porter or Antonio Hart were replaced by a trumpet player with a Russian name that I didn't fully catch. He was a bit tentative and constricted at first, but later he was lifted by the surrounding drive and creativity and put in a solid if not memorable contribution.