The BBC Remembers Graham Collier

If you missed last night’s BBC concert commemorating the late composer, arranger and bandleader Graham Collier, you can still hear it online. The concert at the BBC studios in London featured the British premiere of The Blue Suite, one of Collier’s final works. His partner John Gill describes the program as containing “a selection of his and the musicians’ personal favourties from the Collier canon.” The 90-minute broadcast has Collier stalwart Geoff Warren conducting the BBC Radio Big Band with Roger Dean, John Marshall, Ed Speight, Art Themen and a number of former Collier collaborators including Roy Babbinton, Graeme Blevins and Andy Grappy.

BBC Radio 3 will keep the concert online for six more days. To hear it, click here.

For a Rifftides piece on Collier’s passing in 2011, a few thoughts about his importance and links to further information about him and his work, go here. The post contains a 15-minute video of Collier rehearsing a band and talking about his work.

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  1. David says

    As evidenced by Collier’s music, the eclecticism of that community of British jazz musicians that came out of the late ‘60s is astonishing. They collaborated in a wide variety of combinations and seemed equally comfortable with almost any musical genre or combination of genres.

    Although it has nothing to do with Collier per se, I feel compelled to mention an especially engaging, though little known, album called Mike Taylor Remembered. Under the direction of eclectic composer Neil Ardley, a large group of these musicians gathered in 1973 to perform the music of another eclectic composer on an album that wasn’t released until 2007. Listeners familiar with Norma Winstone’s more recent work may be surprised by her exuberant, extroverted vocals on several of the selections.

    • Doug Ramsey says

      Here is “Timewind” from Mike Taylor Remembered, with Winstone exuberant, indeed, in a piece notable for brevity and lyricism, a rare combination.

  2. Charlton Price says

    The first piece, The Blue Suite, is about 36 minutes, preceded and followed by a few minutes of set-up commentary. Much of it is in sheets-of-sound style. The last, in-tempo segment has the flavor, for me, of late Brookmeyer, Oliver Nelson, or middle Mingus. Original, distinctive.