In the second instalment of Jon Turney’s new weekly series reflecting on tracks that have stayed with him over the years (introduced HERE), he delves into Cashel by Dave Holland from his 1995 album ‘Ones All’:
Has Dave Holland ever made a bad recording? If so, I haven’t found it. I could pass 52 weeks choosing tracks featuring his work. (Maybe next year). But this one will serve for the second item on my list.
It is more or less a short version of the solo recital Holland occasionally delivers live (you can find a few on YouTube). A London date at Wigmore Hall a few years back was a single set that lasted twice as long as this CD, but featured many of the same, long-cherished tunes. So what we have is a selection of the pieces Holland is closest to, and what he can tell us he feels about them, unaided.
I choose Cashel for its lovely, lilting tune. It’s the one I’ll be humming when I get to the end, usually. It’s typical of the set, too, in the elaboration and decoration, which never move too far from the basic line. At 5 minutes it’s roughly the same length as the others – time for a statement, some variation, and a reprise. The business here, on each track, is to explore the deep mood of the song, not to put it through the wringer of virtuosity.