Friday, May 20, 2016

Graham Collier Music - 1976 - New Conditions

Graham Collier Music
New Conditions

01. Introduction 4:05
02. Part One & Two 8:30
03. Part Three 3:45
04. Part Four 5:20
05. Part Five & Six 7:30
06. Part Seven 3:55
07. Part Eight 5:00
08. Finale 3:45

Alto Saxophone – Mike Page
Drums – John Webb
Guitar – Ed Speight
Percussion – John Mitchell
Piano – Roger Dean
Soprano Saxophone – Alan Wakeman, Art Themen
Trombone – Malcolm Griffiths
Trumpet – Harry Beckett, Henry Lowther, Pete Duncan

Recorded June 2 & 3, 1976, Nettlebed, Oxfordshire, England

1976's New Condition was indeed a radical departure for composer/bandleader Graham Collier. Instead of his sextet, the cast here is a 12-piece big band. Instead of a series of works, we have one long work in eight parts, with an introduction and a finale. The front line here is huge: three trumpets -- yes, including Harry Beckett, one saxophone -- thank god it's Alan Wakeman -- and Malcolm Griffiths on trombone. The rhythm section is made up of Collier on bass, Ed Speight on guitar, John Webb on drums, and pianist Roger Dean. This is a frustrating composition in many ways because of all its gaps, and they are the most trouble of all. Collier has composed a mirror image of traditional jazz charts: this is all freely improvised, with certain scored "interruptions" for the ensemble. The effect is stultifying. The "free flow" at the heart of the conceptualization of this work feels hackneyed, as clearly not all of the musicians here are "free" improvisers. Sorry, as brilliant as Collier is, this one falls short of the mark for him.

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