Veteran bassist, composer and bandleader Dave Holland has always maintained a calm, clear-eyed approach to his music.
Perhaps after coming up with Miles Davis in the early '70s, there's little that could rock Holland's boat. Holland certainly has applied lessons he culled from Davis along the way, especially the one about getting the best players you possibly can. In the Overtone Quartet, performing Saturday night at the Mondavi Center, Holland shares the stage with three of the top mainstream jazz musicians working today.
Saxophonist Chris Potter, pianist Jason Moran and drummer Eric Harland combine for a band that is equal parts thoughtful and combustible. Last year at the legendary Village Vanguard in New York, I saw a quartet led by the assertive Potter including Harland on drums blister its way through a nonstop 90-minute set that ebbed and flowed like a jazz symphony.
Similar dynamics will be in place here with the elastic and adventurous Moran, recently named the Kennedy Center's artistic adviser for jazz, able to swing in and out of the reliable structures that Holland always creates.
The band plays new music composed by each of its four members, but Holland might reach back to his landmark 1973 avant garde album "Conference of the Birds," which included the late Sam Rivers. Moran recorded his excellent 2001 album "Black Stars" with Rivers, and while Potter hasn't quite reached Rivers' stature yet, he still explores territory few players approach. Tickets for the Overtone Quartet are $12.50-$49. The performance begins at 8 p.m. Saturday in Mondavi Center's Jackson Hall at the University of California, Davis. For other information, call (866) 754-2787.
KOLT Run Creations opened "Revelations: 2012," its first full season of scheduled productions, with Lucy Thurber's "Where We're Born." The drama unfolds as a young college student returns to her rural hometown and tries to see if she still fits in. Featuring Jessicah Neufeld, Brian Harrower, Kelley Ogden, John Young and David Chernyavsky, with Lisa Thew directing. Last shows run at 8 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. At the Ooley Theater, 2007 28th St., Sacramento.
Tickets are $20 general, $15 for college students. For other information, call (916) 454-1500 or go to www.KOLTRunCreations.com. Because of mature language and themes, "Where We're Born" is not recommended for younger audiences.
Sacramento audiences have enthusiastically responded to Capital Stage's outstanding production of Sarah Ruhl's "In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play." A thoughtful, very funny and honestly sexy play, the finely meshed ensemble includes Elena Wright, Michael Stevenson and Katie Rubin. Peter Mohrmann's sharp direction and Stephen Jones' smart, revealing set help make for one of the most completely realized productions here in quite awhile. Last shows will be 8 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. At Capital Stage, 2215 J St., Sacramento. Tickets are $20-$32. Student rush tickets are $12. For other information, call (916) 995-5464 or go to www.capstage.org.
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