Graham Collier Hoarded Dreams

Most albums with dream band line-ups turn out to be unsatisfactory affairs but Hoarded Dreams is an impressive exception. This previously unreleased 1983 concert is the latest in Cuneiform’s efforts to draw attention to UK jazz bassist/composer Graham Collier, who remains much less known in North America than peers such as Barry Guy and Mike Westbrook. Collier’s charts create the illusion of actually growing out of the soloists’ work rather than merely framing it, often seeming as spontaneous as the improvisations themselves. Collier has a truly extraordinary cast of musicians on hand; the trumpet section alone is amazing, with Kenny Wheeler (in freewheeling, daredevil mode) narrowly winning the honours in a line-up boasting Ted Curson, Tomasz Stanko, Henry Lowther and Manfred Schoof. There’s also memorable work from saxophonists John Surman, Juhanni Aaltonen and Art Themen, trombonist Malcolm Griffiths and countless others. The sound quality is swishy, though listenable, but it’s an enormous pleasure to hear this music at last. Hoarded Dreams’ stylistic individuality and give-it-your-all energy make most recent big band albums sound prim and obsessively tidy by comparison. (Cuneiform) (Cuneiform)