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 was one of the best known British jazz composers, and over a 40 year career, his list of compositions and commissions grew to encompass ensembles around the world.
He was well known as an author and educator, having written seven books on jazz. He was born in Tynemouth, England in 1937. He won a Downbeat scholarship to Berklee 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.
"[Workpoints]...may well prompt a serious reassessment of this important British artist, out of whom much of the most inventive latter-day British jazz ...has emerged.”
– Penguin Guide To Jazz
Two valuable if obscure dates led by British bassist-composer Graham Collier are issued for the first time on this double CD...The music is adventurous and swinging in its own fashion, but also influenced by the avant-garde and looking towards the even freer British jazz of the 1970s." – AllMusic
released May 10, 2005
GRAHAM COLLIER DOZEN
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND, 1968
Graham Collier (bass, leader)
John Marshall (drums, percussion)
Frank Ricotti (vibraphone, bongos)
Kenny Wheeler (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Harold Beckett (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Henry Lowther (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Dave Aaron (alto saxophone, flute)
John Surman (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, piano)
Karl Jenkins (baritone saxophone, oboe, piano)
Chris Smith (trombone)
Michael Gibbs (trombone)
John Mumford (trombone)
GRAHAM COLLIER SEXTET
MIDDLEHEIM, BELGIUM, 1975
Graham Collier (bass, leader)
Harry Beckett, (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Roger Dean, (piano)
Ed Speight (guitar)
Art Themen, (sax)
John Webb, (drums)
Mary Halvorson is a genius composer and guitarist who has developed her own musical language, and with Code Girl she has incorporated poetry into that language. Incredible compositions and lyricism (each track is a different kind of poem). Halvorson's playing is as great as usual, and all the other members of the band sound great. Robert Wyatt's singing in particular works extremely well in the tracks he's featured. Highly, highly recommend. rat
I saw this group in Philadelphia on this tour and am really glad to have a recording of the show. Have loved them since around 1971, saw them in 1974, and am thrilled they're continuing to make distinctive music. davehartl