Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

308

The Will Collier Septet: Everybody Loves The Will Collier Septet

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
To name your debut album with a knowing reference to the titles producer Orrin Keepnews gave to breakthrough releases by pianist Bill Evans and guitarist Wes Montgomery—Everybody Digs Bill Evans (Riverside, 1958) and The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of Wes Montgomery (Riverside, 1960)—takes either a lot of nerve or a very British touch of self-deprecating humour. Everybody Loves The Will Collier Septet suggests a bit of both, but the good natured, playful nature of Collier's music tips the scales in the direction of humour.



The album is released as part of the "F-IRE Presents" series initiated by London's F-IRE Collective, the aim of which is to release and promote works by friends of the association. Instrumental in giving bassist Will Collier's band its opportunity was F-IRE founder member Seb Rochford, drummer with the wonderfully singular Polar Bear and the outrageously iconoclastic Acoustic Ladyland, and a key member of a host of ranking bands including saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock's post-Forensic (F-IRE, 2004) touring quintet. Rochford came across the Collier group on MySpace in 2006, recording sessions took place in 2007, and Everybody Loves The Will Collier Septet is the result.



All but one of the 10 tracks on the album, tenor saxophonist Ben Somers' "Gambit," were written by Collier, who offers a winning mixture of strong melodies, infectious grooves, nods to Terry Riley's reiterative minimalism, an occasional wink at the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and assured four part horn arrangements. Most of the tracks last around five minutes or less, and are concerned with pre-composed structures and counterpoints rather than with providing platforms for individual soloists. The exceptions include "Gullibility Veil," "Wade" and "Environmental Complaints," which respectively showcase alto saxophonist Mike Lesirge (whose kwela-inspired solo evokes township jazz saxophonists Dudu Pukwana and Gwigwi Mrwebi), trumpeter Joe Auckland and pianist Ed Sheldrake.



It's engaging, goodtime music which as the album progresses suffers, just a little, from a feeling of compositional sameness. The most memorable tracks are the aforementioned "Gullibility Veil," "Fat Clown" and "Roundabout Politics," each of which has a distinct character of its own. "Fat Clown" takes off with deliciously gauche and comedic trombone and tenor saxophone interplay, followed by a dialogue between Ben Reynolds' martial drums and Auckland's wow-wow trumpet. The track simultaneously suggests composers Kurt Weill and Charles Mingus. "Roundabout Politics" has Middle Eastern/North African melodic resonances.



Live, the Collier Septet's good humour and enthusiasm makes the band hugely enjoyable. On disc, heard in a one-on-one domestic context, the music would benefit from more conscious pacing and greater use of light and shade. That said, Everybody Loves The Will Collier Septet is an auspicious debut.


Track Listing: Fortnight; Gullibility Veil; Full Stop; Fat Clown; Gambit; Porcelain Frogs; Roundabout Politics; Wade; Environmental Complaints; Era.

Personnel: Joe Auckland: trumpet, flugelhorn; Mike Lesirge: alto sax, clarinet; Ben Somers: tenor sax, flute; Bob Dowell: trombone; Ed Sheldrake: piano; Will Collier: double bass; Ben Reynolds: drums.

Title: Everybody Loves The Will Collier Septet | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: F-IRE Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "The Way Home" CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Territoires" CD/LP/Track Review Territoires
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "The Big Wig" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "Sailors' Tales 1970-1972" CD/LP/Track Review Sailors' Tales 1970-1972
by John Kelman
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "Two in a Box" CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "The Long Slog" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Slog
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 11, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!