The Art of Conversation – Dave Holland and Kenny Barron

Dave Holland

I got a lot of reactions to my 25 essential Jazz albums. One of them was saying: but what of Dave Holland? Well, I’m overall not such a big fan.

I’ve heard him live once at the New Morning in Paris, and very much enjoyed the concert, but his ECM albums usually don’t excite me that much. I must admit I haven’t gone through his entire discography yet, probably there are some gems to be discovered.

One such gems is the album below.

Jazz Duos

Let’s face it, there is a reason why Jazz is usually played at least in trio form: Duos are mostly boring. There is just something lacking without e.g. a drummer.

But to make sure: the rule above has its exceptions. And one person is usually involved in these, and that is the brilliant pianist Kenny Barron. He is one of the few who can pull it off without drums, as he’s already swinging like crazy, and you basically have the drum track in your head right with it.

One excellent example of an outstanding duo recording I already mentioned in the 25 essential Jazz albums: his collaboration with Stan Getz in People Time.

The Art Of Conversation

Kenny Barron Dave Holland The Art Of Conversation Impulse 2014

This 2014 Impulse album is excellent. And as a Keith Jarrett fan it pains me to admit that this collaboration is better to my ears than both the recent Jarrett / Charlie Haden duo recordings(Jasmine and Last Dance).

It is basically the result of a long tour of these two outstanding musicians together in 2012, actually, Jean-Philippe Allard, the producer of People Time mentioned above, saw them in concert in 2012 in Paris and asked them whether they wanted to do a duo recording. Luckily both agreed.

There are beautiful long ballads like Rain, Swinging monsters like In Walked Bud (I never would have believed that anybody else than Monk can pull this track off). In Your Arms is an outstanding Dave Holland original with a lot of intensity. Basically, this album really never becomes boring, but it is like to smart people having an intelligent conversation, the title is spot-on.

My rating: 4 stars

You can get it here (Qobuz) and here (HDTracks)

Author: Musicophile

I'm not a professional musician, I don't work in the music industry, I'm just what the name says, somebody who loves music. I've been in love with music for all of my life, took piano lessons for nearly 10 years, and played in several amateur Jazz groups. I go to concerts, both classical and Jazz, quite regularly. And I collect music previously on vinyl and CDs, now on my computer, and am slightly OCD on my music collection. You can reach me at Musicophile1(AT)

5 thoughts on “The Art of Conversation – Dave Holland and Kenny Barron”

    1. Quite nice, DR12-15, a funny spike at 19.5 khz, not tons of content beyond that, but no obvious cutoff, and piano and bass are not instruments with a lot of high frequency content.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.