Two concerts from a Golden Age of British Jazz.
An intoxicating scent from the time when British jazz was in full bloom.
Rigo Dittmann, Bad Alchemy
Workpoints Part Two featuring Henry Lowther and Harry
written under the first bursary ever given to a jazz
composer by the Arts Council of Great Britain. The
performance heard here was the premiere and generated the
comment from Downbeat used in
the subheading, as well as The Melody Maker making the
claim that ‘Charles Mingus, one of Collier's heroes,
would have enjoyed this tremendously’.
Kenny Wheeler, Harry Beckett, Henry Lowther (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Dave Aaron, John Surman, Karl Jenkins (saxophones)
Chris Smith, Mike Gibbs, John Mumford (trombone)
Frank Ricotti (vibes)
John Marshall (drums)
Graham Collier (bass, leader)
CD2 Live in Middleheim
Harry Beckett (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Art Themen (tenor and soprano sax)
Ed Speight (guitar)
Roger Dean (piano, electric piano)
John Webb (drums)
Graham Collier (bass, leader)
Workpoints, recorded in concert in Southampton, England, March 1968
Live in Middleheim, recorded in concert in Middleheim, Belgium, August 1975
First issued as a double CD on Cuneiform Records in 2005
Mixed and mastered by Tom Leader of LCL Digital
CD2 Little Ben
Under the Pier
Darius Parts One, Three and Four, and Part One Reprise
Bassist, composer and conductor Graham Collier catalysed all these [1960s] energies like no other. Roughly put, his formation was to jazz what Alexis Korner’s was for The Rolling Stones or Cream: a nursery of incomparable talent.
Philippe Robert, Inrockuptibles
For UK jazz listeners, even of a generation not yet born when this music was made, the quality of the improvising from familiar British musicians in their prime may be a fascinating revelation.
John Fordham, The Guardian
An inspiring work ... Much recommended.
Simon Adams, Jazz Journal International
Great music all round.
Duncan Heining, JazzWise
What a line-up it was! Here were improvisers unafraid to fathom uncharted waters, the perfect cohorts for Collier, who left the middle open for the musicians to stamp the work in their own cast.
Jerry d’Souza, AllAboutJazz.com
The volatile specter of Mingus looms over Collier’s work-part work, which juxtaposes frequently poignant scored passages and seam-ripping improvisations, punctuated by hollering riffs and ensemble eruptions.
Bill Shoemaker, www.pointofdeparture.org
It’s not only because of his profile as composer/bassist/bandleader that Collier can be compared to Charles Mingus—there’s something of the great composer’s sanctified sound in Collier’s writing too. The music strikes a remarkable balance between composition and improvisation.
James Beaudreau, One Final Note
Overall, there’s a lot to be gained by listening to Collier’s innovative inclinations that show no hint of anything that would be considered dated or passť. It’s hot stuff for the mind and soul! (Vigorously recommended.)
Glenn Astarita, JazzReview.com
Collier’s music – rather like a free version of early Charles Mingus – continued to embrace long-form pan-tonal compositional frameworks, angular and dissonant yet with a natural, even-toed penchant for measuring and tempering that freedom that frameworks provide. He has also maintained a constancy of direction throughout a career that is still going strong to this day.
Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic
Connected in spirit if not form with Charles Mingus, their fragmentary composed parts and their solo and collective improvisations are all about degrees of adventurism.
Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat