The Dave Holland Quintet might be the finest jazz group ever to perform in the Quad Cities. In the latest Downbeat readers' poll (published in the December 2002 issue), Dave Holland took first place in four categories: best jazz artist, best jazz album (Not for Nothin'), best acoustic jazz group, and best acoustic bass player. In addition, all of the band's sidemen finished high in the polls: Robin Eubanks second on trombone, Chris Potter third on tenor sax, Steve Nelson fourth on vibraphone, and Billy Kilson ninth on drums.

The group will perform on Friday at the Galvin Fine Arts Center, on the campus of St. Ambrose University.

Holland was born in England in 1946. He began studying bass at 17 and a year later was performing with classical orchestras in London. His first jazz experience was with Dixieland groups.

In 1968, at age 22, he was performing with some of England's top-notch jazz musicians - such as John Surman, Evan Parker, and Kenny Wheeler - when Miles Davis heard him and selected him to replace legendary bassist Ron Carter in one of Miles' finest quintets.

After three years with Davis, Holland and fellow Davis bandmate Chick Corea formed an avant-garde jazz group called Circle with alto saxophonist Anthony Braxton and drummer Barry Altschul. The group toured and recorded in 1970 and '71. Holland then performed as a sideman for various artists until 1980, when he suffered endocarditis, an infection of the heart valve that kept him out of circulation for about a year and nearly bankrupted him because of medical expenses.

In 1982, Holland began touring and recording with his own quintet, which lasted five years. Holland then spent a decade working again as a sideman, teacher, and freelancer.

In 1997, Holland formed a quintet again, and in addition to the poll-winning Not for Nothin', the quintet recorded Points of View in 1997, Prime Directive in 1998, and What Goes Around (with eight additional musicians, forming the Dave Holland Big Band) in 2001.

The Dave Holland Quintet will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 31, at the St. Ambrose University Galvin Fine Arts Center. Adult tickets are $12 and available by calling (563)333-6251.

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