Good Hope (Edition)

Dave Holland / Zakir Hussain / Chris Potter

Released October 2019

JazzTimes Top 10 Albums of 2019




Under the collective group name of Crosscurrents Trio, Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain and Chris Potter release Good Hope, a monumental and exceptional album that will inspire and excite a global audience for its formidable display of virtuosity, brilliance and sophisticated musical language. 

Good Hope is an album masterfully crafted by three giants of American and Indian music: an international supergroup of musicians who individually have played vital roles in pioneering advances in Jazz, developing and nurturing the cultural and musical connections between East and West. Three of the best in the world on their respective instruments. Three of the most sophisticated and masterful arrangers and composers.

Emanating from an original impulse by Zakir Hussain to form a large group project known as “Crosscurrents”, the trio is built on a shared love and mutual respect for each others’ playing and the subtle integration of different worlds and different approaches to music making into a coherent and beautiful whole.

Zakir Hussain is a true master of the Indian Classical tradition – his hypnotic, percussive tabla playing instantly recognisable. Refusing to be confined to the music of his homeland, throughout the years he has embarked on a multitude of creative collaborations that transcend boundaries including Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, Planet Drum with Mickey Hart (of the Grateful Dead), Tabla Beat Science, and Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland. Playing with Dave and Chris is an effortless and engaging experience, as he explains…

Dave Holland, one of the greatest and best known international jazz players since he was chosen by Miles Davis, has never stood still – his career defined by a lifetime’s urgent quest for new beauty, for new tests of his extraordinary technique and musical ability, for new partnerships with the brightest and the best. His questing nature has led to many fascinating fusions, all of them organic outcrops of his own musical nature. With Crosscurrents he has found another grouping in which his improvisatory instincts and beautiful tone can flourish. 

Chris Potter, who released his recent acclaimed album Circuits on Edition Records earlier in 2019, is a generation behind Zakir and Dave but his musical language, his inspired creative intensity and command of his instrument is on a par with his fellow bandmates. Adept in almost any style, tempo, harmonic or rhythmic position, Potter’s voice is unmistakable, powerful and awe-inspiring. His breadth of ideas and creativity is endless and spontaneous, and is executed with generosity, respect, and maturity. Despite being almost two decades younger than Holland and Hussain, Potter is fast progressing towards legendary status as one of the greatest saxophonists of his or any generation. For Potter, working with this band was enlightening: “For many years Zakir Hussain had been on my short list of people I really wanted to work with, so when I got the call a couple years ago to be a part of a project he was putting together at SFJazz in San Francisco, which also included my great mentor and friend Dave Holland, I was absolutely thrilled. We did a few tours with this larger ensemble, which included some other amazing Indian musicians: Shankar Mahadevan on vocals, Louiz Banks on piano, his son Gino Banks on drums, and Sanjay Divecha on guitar. The trio came about as a result of this larger formation, we toured as a trio in the summer of 2018 and decided to record in September. I have to admit I was a little nervous about the trio setting since Zakir and Dave are two of the most amazing maestros on the planet, also it is a very exposed role for the saxophone, and playing with only tablas and bass is rather unfamiliar sonic territory. However the chemistry immediately felt great, and the problems of reconciling the musical differences between the jazz language and the Indian classical language immediately melted away playing with musicians who listen so well. It’s been a huge joy for me to be part of this project, and reaffirms my belief in the power of music as a beautiful way of bringing together people from different backgrounds and traditions”. Good Hope is an album built on mutual respect, a shared love of the music and dedicated to musical and cultural integration: unity in diversity. Good Hope is a vital contribution to the art of musicianship and collaboration. It’s brilliance, musical vision and execution is world-class. Good Hope is an album that inspires embracing diversity for future generations.

Track Listing:

1. Ziandi 7.23

2. J Bhai 8.21

3. Lucky Seven 10.46

4. Suvarna 8.01

5. Island Feeling 7.12

6. Bedouin Trail 7.42

7. Good Hope 8.20

8. Mazad 8:39


Dave Holland: double bass

Zakir Hussain: tabla

Chris Potter: saxophones

Recorded September 21 – 22, 2018, at Sear Sound, NYC, New York.
Engineer: Chris Allen
Assistant: Owen Mulholland
Mastered by Greg Calbi

Produced by Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain & Chris Potter

Executive Producers: Dave Stapleton, Louise Holland


Two years ago, tabla master Zakir Hussain assembled a sextet he called Crosscurrents, which brought together Indian and Western musicians to explore the jazz content of Bollywood film scores. Good Hope expands on that concept by boiling the group down to a trio, and shifting the focus from movie music to a more generalized approach.

As to how Dave Holland ended up with top billing on what started as Hussain’s project, one could either put it down merely to alphabetical-order-by-surname or note how central the bassist’s role is in defining the sound of this trio. Good Hope isn’t raga-jazz or East-Meets-West fusion; it’s a conversation between sensibilities, with Holland’s bass acting as the bridge between Hussain’s tablas and Chris Potter’s tenor.

“Ziandi,” the Potter tune that opens the album, is a case in point. It starts with Holland laying down a tuneful, riff-y line whose groove is quietly reinforced by a straight-four pattern from Hussain. As Potter’s tenor enters, Holland’s playing becomes contrapuntal, so it’s less like a bass behind sax than a pair of intertwining improvisations. Hussain follows his lead, echoing and sparking rhythmic elaborations within the melodic lines. The music definitely presents as jazz, but beyond that general ID the genre influences are as subtly blended as flavors in a stew, whether ratatouille or rogan josh. Given the quality of the players, the music is frequently virtuosic, yet seldom in a showy way. In the title tune, for instance, there’s plenty of ferocious interplay, but the real jaw-dropper comes when they state the melody, and you realize that those poppy chords beneath Potter’s cheerful tenor are coming from Holland’s bass. Similarly, Hussain’s solo turn at the top of “Lucky Seven” finds him using harmonics and special hand techniques to make his tablas sound like bongos, agogo bells, and even kalimba. Yet it’s all done so quietly you may need to turn up the volume to fully appreciate its genius—and when was the last time you needed to crank a drum solo?

J. D. Considine (JazzTimes)