More News - Autumn 2011

Newsletter September 2011

Recent additions to the website and more...

Facebook News: After resisting the temptation for years I now have a Band Page on Facebook called Graham Collier Music. If you’re feeding it into Facebook Search on your browser don’t use spaces between the words and the uppercase letters are optional). Please link to it and take advantage of the regular updates. Two full tracks from directing 14 Jackson Pollocks are available on the BandPage for free download.

CD News
: Discussion are in play for a double CD/DVD of a recent concert in Canada. See here for a review of the concert. And in October BGO will release the fourth double-CD compilation of Graham Collier material, this time including Symphony of Scorpions and The Day of the Dead, both based on the works of Malcolm Lowry.

Publishing News: memories arrested in space, six saxophone quartets inspired by Jackson Pollock paintings, have now been published by Advance.

Website News: has all the news plus a new page listing all the Free Stuff that’s available on the three sites. has some new writing such as ‘Talking about Complete Composers: Henry Threadgill’, and reprints of important older writings such as ‘The Churchill Report on Jazz Education in America’, as well as an index of all Graham’s writings. has been re-designed with a new theme and some new material.

More on the concert in Halifax

How do Halifax's jazz musicians do it? Opportunities are few. Occasions to rise above ordinary excellence even fewer. Yet 14 local players drawn together as the Upstream Jazz Orchestra came up Sunday night with one of the hottest jazz bands ever to hit the Dunn stage. … Big bands offer the most exciting possibilities in the business for firing up the blood. And British jazz composer, band leader and writer Graham Collier made more of those possibilities than any of us in the packed auditorium thought possible. … There was potential for confusion in the sheer weight of tones and energies, and the number of improvisors (everybody), but Collier kept both musicians and audience in the loop, the groove anchoring the structures, and his many devices for changing direction and orchestration and gestures ensuring that no two performances would sound alike.
Stephen Pedersen, The Halifax Chronicle Herald. The full review can be found here.

Or you might prefer this version which appears to have translated the review into Sanskrit and back again …
How do Halifax’s jazz musicians do it? Opportunities are few. Occasions to arise above typical value even fewer. Yet 14 internal players drawn together as a Upstream Jazz Orchestra came adult Sunday night with one of a hottest jazz bands ever to strike a Dunn stage. Big bands offer a many sparkling possibilities in a business for banishment adult a blood. And British jazz composer, rope personality and author Graham Collier done some-more of those possibilities than any of us in a packaged auditorium suspicion possible. … There was intensity for difficulty in a perfect weight of tones and energies, and a series of improvisers (everybody), though Collier kept both musicians and assembly in a loop, a slit anchoring a structures, and his many inclination for changing instruction and adaptation and gestures ensuring that no dual performances would sound alike.
Found at [and there’s more...]

More on Hoarded Dreams

After praising ‘a significant body of small-group music on record’ and ‘such wonderful scores as Charles River Fragments, Winter Oranges and Bread and Circuses’ the Penguin Guide continues ‘One of the remarkable things about Hoarded Dreams, and perhaps only equalled by Charles Mingus, is the seamlessness of written material and improvisation. … Without an overt political or social programme, it still delivers an expression of togetherness and individuality in balance that is hard to beat. … Collier’s dream-hoard is rich, sometimes strange and entirely free of British whimsy. A lastingly satisfying experience.’

The 2009 edition of the Penguin Guide to Recorded Jazz gave Graham Collier CDs a total of 46 stars:
Hoarded Dreams and Workpoints are both in the top four star category which signifies ‘an outstanding record… a splendid example of the artist’s work.’ Four of the others – Deep Dark Blue Centre, Darius, New Conditions and Symphony of Scorpions – get three and a half stars signifying ‘an excellent record with some exceptional music’, while eight more, given three stars, ‘will reward the listener tuned to [their] merits’.

More Website News
All three websites have been re-organised with new material added and in one case a complete makeover.

This site has a new News page, which you are reading, a list of Graham Collier compositions with related notes and a new Free Stuff page which details all the free goodies available on all three sites. has new and republished articles in almost all sections plus a Writings Index which is, well you can guess. There’s also a page on jazzcontinuum CDs and downloads. has had a complete makeover with some new and revised sections, including playing catch-up which details some new thoughts and the typos and other mistakes uncovered by me and others.

Praise for the jazz composer, moving music off the paper

A philosophical look at the subject of jazz and jazz composition, published by Northway Books.

One of the best, if not the best, summations of what jazz & jazz composing are supposed to be.
Jakko Tahkolahti, jazz critic and broadcaster, Finland

Bloody Marvellous, but I don't agree with everything in it. Ray Comiskey, Irish Times.

A great addition to the literature on composition. George E. Lewis

This is an important book. Doug Ramsey, Rifftides

For more about the book click on the title and be taken to the book's dedicated interactive website.

Praise for directing 14 Jackson Pollocks, the latest recording from Graham Collier.


In the best CDs of 2009 lists in Jazz Journal (Simon Adams, Anthony Troon and Bob Weir), Jazzwise (Duncan Heining) and Village Voice (Chris Kelsey) and picked in eMusic’s notable new releases, August 2009.

A visionary and inspired work that’s utterly unlike any big band album released since the death of Gil Evans. Chris Kelsey

Collier reaches distillation of the notion that the orchestra, the written music and the improvising soloist comprise a trinity, each element inseparable from the other. Doug Ramsey, Rifftides

Celebrate with two full length downloadable extracts
Click on the title above to be taken to the dedicated page to read more reviews while you listen to the downloads.

Praise for the third BGO compilation of classic Collier material

‘A classy reissue.’ Duncan Heining, Jazzwise

‘Invaluable albums and a high water mark in British jazz.’ Chris Searle, Morning Star

‘It never fails to astonish me that in pieces like these, we are listening to music recorded more than a quarter of a century ago that’s still challenging and uplifting despite the seduction of ‘new things’ in jazz. In fact I feel a thread linking the spirit of Jelly Roll Morton to Mingus to Collier in the vivacity and drive of these pieces. … An irresistible reissue.’
Anthony Troon, Jazz Journal