Graham Collier is one of the best known and most important British jazz composers and over a 40 year career, his list of compositions and commissions has grown to encompass ensembles around the world. He is well-known as an author and educator, having written seven books on jazz.




Graham Collier's official website


RUNE 252

Hoarded Dreams is a previously unreleased long-form composition heard here in a powerful live performance from 1983 by an international all-star band that includes Tomasz Stanko, Conny Bauer, Malcolm Griffiths, Eje Thelin, Ed Speight, Roger Dean, Ted Curson, John Surman, Manfred Schoof, Kenny Wheeler, Art Themen and many others. " I came across the phrase “Hoarded Dreams” in a seemed an ideal title for this commission, [which] is the realisation of the jazz composer’s constant dream: to be able to hand-pick a group of star musicians to perform a long composition written with absolutely no outside restrictions… . Overall the piece inhabits (as indeed does most of my writing) that area between the purely written and the purely improvised."-Graham Collier. The energy of the ensemble performing the piece in front of a large and enthusiastic audience is very obvious on the recording and there's some great soloing as well as ensemble passages.

"What a monumental piece of music. George Russell, Mike Westbrook, Charles Mingus and Graham Collier – how many other jazz composers could produce something of such epic proportions where both composition and improvisation combine to such powerful effect? At 70 minutes in length with a dream band – hence the title – there is just too much here to describe adequately. The trombone-dominated ‘Part 4’ with its tailgating, swing conclusion, a virtuoso solo improvisation from Conny Bauer on ‘Part 5’, Ashley Brown’s amazing drumming throughout the piece, the immensity of John Surman’s baritone growling like thunder from behind the clouds and a trumpet section heaven sent by Gabriel himself. It’s become almost trite to say it – Dave Gelly might have been the first to do so – but 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 becomes part of the improvisation 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

"The instrumentation is that of the classic big jazz band, yet it is deployed in a highly untraditional way.… 70 minutes of dazzling solos and exchanges, what really could be described as musical fireworks." - The New Statesman

"You couldn’t tell where improvisation ended and writing took over…. The whole conception was bold and the playing magnificent." - The Observer

Collier’s sympathetic background motifs and great stabbing ensemble chords…gave the clear signal that this was something special in jazz writing; something that was reflected in the inspiration which the piece gave to the soloists." - The Wire

Hoarded Dreams press release

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RUNE 213

Called "A pioneer...a true British jazz original." by The Times, "An inventive and underrated jazz figure" by Jazziz and "Britain's most original jazz talent." by The Financial Times, Graham Collier is one of the best known British jazz composers, and over a 40 year career, his list of compositions and comissions has grown to encompass ensembles around the world. He is well known as an aurthor and educator, having written seven books on jazz. He was born in Tynemouth, England in 1937. He won a Downbeat scholarship to Berkless School of Music, Boston, studying with Herb Pomeroy and becoming its first British graduate in 1963. Returning to Britain, he formed the first of many line-ups known as Graham Collier Music, which over the years has featured almost every British jazz musician of note. Workpoints consists of two previously unreleased concerts from 'a golden age of British jazz': one from 1968 and one from 1975. The music is composed with lots of room for contributions from the individual players, and in that regard, might be comparable to the work of one of Graham's heroes, Charles Mingus. The album features a huge number of well known jazz musicians, such as: Harry Beckett, Mike Gibbs, Karl Jenkins, Frank Ricotti, Henry Lowther, John Marshall, John Surman, Art Themen, Kenny Wheeler and others. Included in the booklet are archival photos, notes and comments from Graham.

Workpoints press quotes

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For press and media: cover art and high resolution images are available below for download (click thumbnail, right-click image and select "Save As.."). Please credit the photographer (when available) and "Courtesy of Cuneiform Records". For more information, click here.

Hoarded Dreams press release
Workpoints press quotes

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Cuneiform Records 2014


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