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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Graham Collier: The Day of the Dead

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Graham Collier's death, in 2011, lends this release a sad air--at least until the gravity of the music is considered, because truly the composer/arranger has gained some measure of immortality through it. Recorded over the years 1976 to 1978, the albums collected here mark a period of transition from Collier the bassist and small band leader to Collier the composer for large ensembles who grasped the implications of the tonal palette such groups could offer. In his way, he also came to grips with the implications of improvised music with spoken narration on The Day of the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Graham Collier: Darius / Midnight Blue / New Conditions

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Graham Collier Music Darius / Midnight Blue / New Conditions BGO 2009

The benefit of hindsight reveals how the three LPs, recorded in the mid-1970s, collected here form the bridge between British bassist, composer and bandleader Graham Collier's early small group work and the expansion of tonal palette and compositional ambition that have marked his more recent forays. His music thus amounts to one of those occasions when increasing ambition is complimented by increasing creativity. Over the course of this collection, taken sequentially, that's readily apparent. Recorded during hardly the most creative time for ...

BOOK REVIEWS

The Jazz Composer: Moving Music Off The Paper

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The Jazz Composer: Moving Music Off The Paper Graham Collier Hardcover; 314 pages ISBN: 978 09557888 0 2 Northway Books 2009

Bassist, composer and bandleader Graham Collier's preoccupation with form is itself, in a very literal sense, a central concern of this book: with the passage of time, Collier's music has grown ever more structurally sophisticated. Such is its depth in 2009 that it is hardly surprising that The Jazz Composer: Moving Music Off The Paper should resemble a polemic in support of that trajectory, even while it discusses how to take jazz ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Graham Collier: Directing 14 Jackson Pollocks

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Graham Collier Directing 14 Jackson Pollocks Jazz Continuum 2009

Reissues can have a telescoping effect on our perception of an artist because they focus on music from the past, which in British bandleader and composer Graham Collier's case can be anything up to 40 or so years old. In the intervening decades his role as a composer has changed fundamentally, as has his place within a band. As a composer/director he now occupies a relatively sparsely populated place, but these recordings, from the early years of this century and the last decade of the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Graham Collier: Deep Dark Blue Centre / Portraits / The Alternate Mosaics

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Graham Collier Deep Dark Blue Centre / Portraits / The Alternate Mosaics BGO Records 2008

This is the second chapter in BGO's reissue program of bassist/bandleader Graham Collier's work from the late 1960s and early 1970s. It gives listeners a chance to catch up with some of the most potent British jazz from a period when the music was moving forward at a rate and without a mind for the demands of commerce. Over the course of what were once three LPs, it also plots the course of Collier's development ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Graham Collier: Down Another Road / Songs For My Father / Mosaics

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Graham Collier Down Another Road / Songs For My Father / Mosaics BGO Records 2007

The late 1960s and early 1970s were years when European jazz in general, and British jazz in particular, came into their own in terms of the music making a fundamental break with established, exclusively American precedents.

This two-disc reissue of three Graham Collier albums made by the bassist/bandleader during the period underscores this contention. Collier's working methods, even at this relatively early stage of his career, already had something distinctive about them, and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Graham Collier: Down Another Road / Songs For My Father / Mosaics

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These days, British bassist Graham Collier is often considered more as a composer/arranger/bandleader, especially with archival issues like Hoarded Dreams (Cuneiform, 2007) and Workpoints (Cuneiform, 2005) placing emphasis on large ensemble work (though one disc of Workpoints featured a sextet). It's easy to forget that, during the late 1960s and early 1970s, he released some of the finest small ensemble jazz to come out of the UK, most notably a string of three titles that, up until now, have been out of print--Down Another Road (Fontana, 1969), Songs For My Father (Fontana, 1970) and Mosaics (Philips, 1971). Thankfully, BGO has ...



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