Dream of the Elders is the sole release by this line-up of the Dave Holland Quartet. Like Holland's previous two ECM (record label) releases, Triplicate and Extensions, this album was recorded following the dissolving of his first working quintet (that had featured Steve Coleman, Robin Eubanks, Kenny Wheeler and Marvin "Smitty" Smith) but before the formation of his current working quintet (with Chris Potter, Eubanks, Steve Nelson and Nate Smith). Dream of the Elders has influenced Holland's future releases in several ways. It was his first release to feature vibraphonist Steve Nelson, who then went on to join Holland's second working quintet, formed following the Dream of the Elders session. Additionally four of the tunes introduced on the album ("Lazy Snake", "Claressence", "Equality" and "Ebb & Flow") have been revisited by Holland on future releases, albeit in re-arranged versions.