Graham Collier — Hoarded Dreams
(Cuneiform Rune 252, 1983/2007, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01On a purely practical level, this release is hard to categorize. It is the first wide appearance of a performance from the Bracknell Jazz Festival in 1983, so it is both a new release and an archival recording. Collier was commissioned to write an extended piece and allowed to pick any musicians he wanted, and the result was a 19-piece band that’s not much like a traditional jazz big band, though the music is undoubtedly jazz. Five winds (saxes, flutes, and clarinets of various sizes), five trumpet/flugelhorns, three trombones, a tuba, two guitars, piano, bass, and drums follow Collier’s direction through various sections of composition and improvisation. While some sections are very free, featuring improvisation of three or four players at once, there’s enough coherence to keep it from wandering off into chaotic self-indulgence. Given the fact that this was not a standing ensemble, but a collection of people brought together for one performance, the amount of cohesion is simply astounding, giving eloquent testament to the intuitive talents of all. I didn’t do an actual tally, but it seems that each player gets at least one spotlight moment. Collier’s writing is spot on at each turn, with contrasting sections, driving grooves, reflective interludes, tasty ensemble bits, and interesting combinations of elements. I hope all those in the audience were aware of what a special event they were part of, and while I don’t know what kept this one in the vaults for so long, I’m glad it’s out now.
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more