Recently selected as one of the 1001 best albums in
The Penguin Jazz Guide - The History of the Music in the 1001 Best Albums (2010)
‘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.’
From The Penguin Jazz Guide
Marvellous and quite indispensable …
70 minutes of glorious music … Rambunctious rhythms and spontaneous tumult suggestive of Mingus … There is nothing in this staggering performance that sounds remotely dated or unadventurous … for once you finish listening to a 70-minute recording and wish there was more … one of the most invigorating big band releases I’ve heard in quite some time.
Some quotes from the worldwide reviews for the release of Hoarded Dreams, 24 years after it was recorded.
Hoarded Dreams opening.
Hoarded Dreams is among the 200 in the Penguin Guide to Recorded Jazz ‘Core Collection: a basic library of jazz records which readers… might consider as their first-priority purchases.’
Commissioned by the 1983 Bracknell
Jazz Festival and performed there by an all-star
International 20 piece band conducted by Graham Collier.
The performance was filmed by Channel 4, as the core of a
documentary about Graham, and also recorded by the BBC for
Geoff Warren; Juhanni Aaltonen; Art Themen; Matthias Schubert; John Surman (saxophones)
Kenny Wheeler, Henry Lowther, Manfred Schoof, Tomasz Stanko, Ted Curson (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Malcolm Griffiths, Eje Thelin, Conny Bauer (trombone)
Dave Powell (tuba)
John Schröder, Ed Speight (guitar)
Roger Dean (piano)
Paul Bridge (bass)
Ashley Brown (drums, percussion)
Recorded live at The Bracknell Jazz Festival, 1983
First Issued on Cuneiform Records, 2007
Mixed and mastered by Tom Leader of LCL Digital
Hoarded Dreams, Parts One to Seven
70 minutes of dazzling solos and exchanges, what really could be described as musical fireworks.
Charles Fox, The New Statesman.
You couldn’t tell where improvisation ended and
writing took over… The whole conception was bold and
the playing magnificent.
Dave Gelly, The Observer.
This was something special in jazz writing; something that was reflected in the inspiration which the piece gave to the soloists. Roger Cotterrell, The Wire.
The extracts above are from reviews of the first performance in 1983.
Those below come from the unprecedented set of reviews of the Cuneiform release.
What a monumental piece of music... how many other jazz composers could produce something of such epic proportions where both composition and improvisation combine to such powerful effect. It's impossible to say where the writing begins and ends and improvisation takes over. But that is essentially Collier's project - the composition continues to develop in the performance and the improvisers create the writing anew every time they play. Expect raucously abstract playing, lyrical and melodic tune-led sections, driving rhythms, mighty cadenzas and brooding moments of transcendence. You won't be disappointed.’
Duncan Heining, Jazzwise Magazine, February 2007
Why a musician of Graham Collier’s stature is not more well known in the states, after all this time and with such credentials, is beyond me … [He is] a composer of large-scale works demonstrating complete mastery … ‘all [the fantastic solos] exist in the well-defined framework only a veteran composer can establish … one of the most invigorating big band releases I’ve heard in quite some time.
Marc Medwin, http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/3482
Hoarded Dreams just might be a touchstone for Graham Collier's music, more specifically the inventions for large ensembles that he's been fashioning for the last thirty-odd years … the intimate nature of the relationship between Collier the composer and the musicians is a thing of wonder … [his] dark, brooding writing for the horns creates the impression of something pretty close to unique within big band music.
Nic Jones, All About Jazz
Seventy minutes of consistently exciting, at times downright exhilarating, music, containing just enough structural backbone to ensure artistic coherence, but sufficiently imbued with that most elusive of qualities, freedom, to guarantee unpredictability … Unreservedly recommended.
Chris Parker, http://www.vortexjazz.co.uk/cd-reviews/hoarded-dreams.html
The precise personnel is important because what made Hoarded Dreams different from the run of big-band projects was that Collier marshalled his essentially simple material in such a way as to foreground each and every member of the orchestra as a soloist. It's a luminous performance, on a par – for me, at least – with any of Ellington's late suites.
Brian Morton, The Wire
Collier’s compositional style is pan-tonal and pan-stylistic. He [is] a master of rambunctious rhythms and spontaneous tumult suggestive of Mingus. When this work turns somber, it’s with elegiac force and striking voicings. Lately Collier has been getting more of the broader international attention his work warrants.
Stuart Broomer, Signal to Noise
For us, the listeners, there’s the certainty that - after 24 more years of innovation and the input of another talented generation - there is nothing in this staggering performance that sounds remotely dated or unadventurous....
Anthony Troon, Jazz Review
70 minutes of glorious music.
Jazz Up Late, ABC, Australia, who broadcast the CD in its entirety soon after its release.
Graham Collier is a true forgotten master... for once you finish listening to a 70-minute recording and wish there was more.... Collier is masterful at creating music which is composed and tightly organized but also energizes improvisation... If you are an admirer of the exploratory big band, if you dig Mingus’ Epitaph work, if you are always searching out a new ICP or VAO, then you must find and hear Hoarded Dreams.
Phillip McNally. ©Cadence Magazine 2007 www.cadencebuilding.com
Great music stands the test of time. Composer/arranger/bandleader Graham Collier proves that once again with the release of Hoarded Dreams. ... Marvelous and quite indispensable.
Jerry D'Souza, All About Jazz
Collier is in a league with George Russell and Charles Mingus in the demanding discipline of writing for large ensembles populated by musicians whose improvisation goes beyond the fringe of standard harmony.
Doug Ramsey, Rifftides