Graham Collier - Hoarded Dreams

Cuneiform Rune 252  | ****
Graham Collier (comp, cond), Kenny Wheeler, Henry Lowther, Manfred Schoof, Tomasz Stanko, Ted Curson (t, flhn), Malcolm Griffiths, Eje Thelin, Conny Bauer (tb), Dave Powell (tba), Geoff Warren (as, f), Juhanni Aaltonen (ts, as), Art Themen (ts, ss), Matthias Schubert (ts, ob), John Surman (bs, bcl), John Schröder, Ed Speight (g), Roger Dean (p, ky), Paul Bridge (b) and Ashley Brown (d). Rec. June 1983
Graham Collier - Hoarded Dreams
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