Miles Davis Wants You, Dave Holland

DISCOVERED BY MILES DAVIS [:90]

RUFFIN: NOW A JAZZ MOMENT

Directions under

AT AGE 21, BASSIST DAVE HOLLAND PERFORMED IN FRONT OF MILES DAVIS AT RONNIE SCOTT’S CLUB IN LONDON. HE ASSUMED MILES WASN’T LISTENING. HE WAS WRONG.

Dave Holland: Philly Joe Jones was living in London and he came to the bandstand as I was getting on stage and he said, “Miles wants you to join his band,” I said, “Come on. You’re putting me on.” He said, “No, it’s serious. He wants to see you after the set.”

HOLLAND FINISHED THE SET AND LOOKED FOR MILES. BUT HE WAS GONE. THREE LONG WEEKS GO BY AND STILL NO WORD.

Dave Holland: So I was just starting a gig at Ronnie’s with Joe Henderson, and I got back at three in the morning and my phone rang and it was Miles’ manager, Jack Whitmore. And he said “Miles really wants you to come over and play with the band.” This was a Tuesday, by the way. “He’s got a gig starting at Count Basie’s in Harlem on Friday. Can you be there?”

And of course my whole life is happening in England. I said, “Yeah, of course.” I turned up at Count Basie’s. I saw Herbie heading to the stage and Wayne and Miles, and thought wow, better get up there. Hadn’t met Miles yet. Miles just went to the mic and started playing, and that was it.

THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH NEA JAZZ MASTER DAVE HOLLAND WAS PRODUCED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.

Excerpt of “Directions” composed by Joe Zawinul and performed by Miles Davis from the album, Live at the Fillmore East, March 9, 1970: It’s About That Time, used courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment and by permission of Kobalt Music [BMI].