Mel Collins is a British saxophonist, flutist, and session musician, who was born on September 5, 1947, in Isle of Man, UK. He is best known for his work as a member of the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Camel, as well as his collaborations with other prominent musicians.
Collins began his music career in the late 1960s, playing saxophone and flute in various bands and sessions. In 1970, he joined King Crimson as a session musician, playing on their landmark album "Lizard." He subsequently became a full-time member of the band for their next two albums, "Islands" and "Larks' Tongues in Aspic."
After leaving King Crimson in 1972, Collins played with a number of other bands, including Alexis Korner's Snape, The Rolling Stones, and Roger Waters. He also recorded as a session musician for a variety of artists, including Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, and Tears for Fears.
In 1977, Collins joined the progressive rock band Camel, and played on their album "Breathless." He subsequently appeared on several other Camel albums, including "I Can See Your House from Here," "The Single Factor," and "Nude."
Collins continued to work as a session musician throughout the 1980s and 1990s, playing on albums by a wide range of artists, including Joan Armatrading, Clannad, and The Alan Parsons Project. He also played with the jazz fusion band Kokomo and appeared on their albums "Rise and Shine" and "A Little Bit Further Away."
In the 2000s, Collins continued to collaborate with a range of musicians and bands, including Steve Hackett, The Tangent, and Jakko Jakszyk. He also reunited with King Crimson for a series of tours, including their 2014 "The Elements of King Crimson" tour.
Overall, Mel Collins has had a long and successful career as a versatile and in-demand saxophonist and session musician, playing on numerous iconic albums and working with many of the biggest names in rock and pop music.