Graham Collier

Winter Oranges

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A well-designed and strong compositional potpourri from the works of Graham Collier, the last four tracks are part of "Winter Oranges," a composition by Collier commissioned and performed by the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra which also performs parts one and three from Collier's "Three Simple Pieces." (A complete performance of the latter can be heard on The Third Colour.) The well-rehearsed orchestra, which has long performed original works by Collier, interprets these difficult pieces well, with tight sound and universally strong solos; although occasionally the group might be accused of a bookish approach to ensemble performance, a criticism that could be applied to many bands. As with so much of Collier's writing, he sketches shadows of sound over which individual instrumentalists weave their craft. Sometimes, as on "Eggshell Summer," there is a quiet profundity reinforced by solo and duo improvisations. Elsewhere, Collier interjects electric guitar, rock riffs, and soaring trumpets to project a diversity of shadings. Through the years Collier has consistently showed an affinity for nuance, color, and texture without sacrificing the emotional spontaneity that is at the heart of jazz, somewhat in the vein of Gil Evans. Collier continues to hone his craft, and the results here testify to his past achievements and continued creativity.

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