David Byrne on streaming services

Worth a read:


An interesting article, thanks for posting it. It is a good companion to the many who have opined Apple has done great damage to music.

The comments below the article are disturbing. While some may be trolls, the underlying attitudes are disturbing.

Byrne’s book “How Music Works” is also worth reading. He discusses individual creativity, cultural circumstances from which music springs, various forms of musical expression, etc. It is a bit of a mish-mash, but a fun trip.


I’ve not picked his book up yet, but will now that you’ve reminded/endorsed.

I am a big Dave Holland fan and bought his new recording, Prism, direct from his website today. It was ridiculously inexpensive. I am more than happy to purchase this way because it puts money in the musician’s pocket, keeps me from having a CD, etc etc.

But Byrne points out a big dilemma exhibited by what I did. I already know of Holland, have seen him live several times, he is a superstar in the jazz world, and I know how to seek his recordings out. Everyone else trying to carve out an existence without the old model of record label support (such as it was) faces an uncertain existence with the impact of streaming services. Do they actually generate notoriety - hard to know unless the listen-to-purchase equation is sorted out.

Scary times for all of the arts, not just music.

David Byrne’s book is somewhat stream of consciousness and meandering, but he is bright and observant. It is one of those books you read and just let it flow over you.

Another book (much better, outstanding in fact) is “The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century” by critic Alex Ross. Absolutely fascinating. The only caution is it made me seek out a lot of the music he discusses that I do not know.

(Dave Holland has done some great work.)


This is a TED talk that I enjoyed. This was posted a while back by someone on the forum but it fits here. David is a little uneven in his delivery but if you recall any of his interviews from the 1980’s you’ll note that this is a big improvement. He suffers from Asberger’s syndrome, a form of autism that can leave the person highly functional but a little (or a lot) awkward. This condition often improves with age, which it has for David as well. I work with several individuals who have Asberger’s and both are exceptionally talented in their work. Enjoy.

@David: I’m just getting aquainted with Dave Holland. I just got one of the ECM Rarum collections of his work and also have Prime Directive. Suggestions from here?


When selecting the format from the DH site… is Source Audio for .WAV?

I could not find a clear description.

@wglenn - It’s a pretty big discography for Holland, and there is of course the work he did as a sideman with Miles Davis and others before becoming a leader in his own right.

Picking up from that point, I think that the work Holland did with Abercrombie and DeJohnette as Gateway is always interesting. The albums are really varied in styles and approach, which would lead some to say ‘uneven’ and others to say ‘rich’. As an Abercrombie fan I locate some of his best work in this era, particularly since it is rich with examples of his ability to imply melody. For me many of these recording exemplifies some of the best attributes of Holland’s playing - the ability to lay down a deep groove, and very clear, taut sound - the sort of thing you’d have heard on “How’s Never” from the Rarum recording.

So, for the Gateway series, it is: Gateway (1975); Gateway 2 (1977); In the Moment (1994); Homecoming (1994).

I was lucky enough to see these guys rip the entire audience a new one at the Montreal festival - talk about putting the speculum in the Spectrum.

You have Prime Directive (2000). Points of View (1998) is a slightly different line up in the power quintet of that period (Steve Wilson was replaced by Chris Potter for Prime Directive). There are some fantastic tracks on PoV, and the muscianship on these discs, and then one that followed in 2001 (Not for Nothin’) make a nice set from that period.

The big(ger) band stuff like What Goes Around and Critical Mass are decent, but somehow they never quite caught my attention fully.

One thing that is worth considering is the 1993 solo record Ones All. It takes some special talent to make an all bass recording interesting and rewarding. It works for me, but perhaps not everyone will appreciate it.

The 2012 Reunion: Live in New York is intriguing and I must get back to it and give it a proper listen. It is with Atschul and Rivers.

The new Prism album is surprisingly heavy-hitting. I got the 16/44 version in Flac, @Gordon, - there was a drop down menu for format after you start the check out procedure.

But the discography is big and I do own more of it. If others have favs I didn’t mention I’d be interested in hearing about them.


++1 for Abercrombie.

My favorite bassman remains Charlie Haden.

The Montreal Tapes" are often played on my rig.

I was present at some of the sessions and the performers are brilliant but the final speculum is how TIGHT they are together.

It was also the first time I experienced Rubalcaba live and he is also destined for the hall of fame as his temples grey a bit. He reminds me of Keith Jarrett, whom I also worship.

For guitar, check out Laurence Juber “Guitar Noire” if you don’t have it.

Also Chesky “The Body Acoustic” is, for me a great album.


*** the drop down box gives options but no clue as to the “original audio”. It turned out to be AIFF. “It is whatever the artist supplied”.

The Montreal Tapes are great. ‘New Beginning’ from the Bley/Motian is a superb track in every respect, particularly suited to Haden’s best pace and playing style where his particular approach to timing really shows up nice. I also like some of the work he did under the Quartet West flag, but some people who deal with Atlantic winter seem to find the sunny optimism of this West Coast jazz a bit much to take!

EDIT - that cadenza that Bley does at the end of New Beginning is breathtaking - I’ve been listening to that track since the album was released and I still find it mesmerising. I presume piano players can confirm but the tightly syncopated rhythms he’s playing with his right require him to cross-over with his left to get some of the high notes in as he drops the left hand down the octaves to complete the song.

I’ll look up the Juber.

Thanks, guys. I see many names above that are favorites of mine. It’s always great to get turned on to new music and it looks like I’ve got some good exploring to do with Holland.

A good friend of mine and I ground John Abercrombie and Ralph Towner’s “Sargasso Sea,” and “Five Years Later,” into piles of vinyl dust on the turntable in the 1980’s. :x



wglenn said: John Abercrombie and Ralph Towner's "Sargasso Sea,"

Thanks - you reminded me I have that on vinyl and I got the NPC warmed up with that today.