Tom Collier

Across the Bridge



iTunes - $8.91

MUSIC REVIEW BY Chris Lunn, Ancient Victorys


Collier and his over-four-decades partner, Dan Dean, first surfaced for us in the 70s and have been major contributors musically and technically to the jazz music field. Here, Collier, performing his own tunes, collaborates with two major guitarists out of the Seattle music scene, Larry Coryell and Bill Frisell. Bot are on electric guitars and play on separate cuts. Either John Bishop from Origin Records (with Coryell) or Ted Poor is on drums. Frisell starts the collection on "The Junction" with a guitar chord punch and Collier coming over the top with a shower of notes. The crisp drums accent the beat, and the electric bass roars from underneath. Collier drives a dancing, lyrical solo as the band is tight and clean. Frisell has a slightly rockfish touch as he solos, working toward extensions and bending notes, and then he releases to Bishop's tight solo. A driving, lyrical delight. "Beach Drive" opens with Dan Dean punching a bass riff warm and round then the slapping drums of Poor's work. Collier is into the head, and then we get a tight, squeezing Frisell guitar moving us through this strutting landscape. Frisell is working right on the beat with accessible sounds that at times have a slight western tinge. The rhythm lightens just as Collier comes in soft and working mainly single notes. Then he develops a more bop style run. The rhythm gets even further down into the funky strut. Great fun as Dean's bass quietly talks on his long, clear and clean solo. Back to Coryell on "Gold 'N' Blues," a kind of bop warmth that feels a little like some of the cool jazz of the 50s, with warmth and humor. Coryell, with a very warm tight sound, swings his opening statement then works in clustered runs. Bishop works between slap and touches while Dean swings warmly. Very supportive. Collier is swinging, building, charging the sound, and the band begins to swing harder. Dean swings his electric bass and his solo notes are crisp and jumping off the track. There are two cuts without Frisell or Coryell, and Dean is on both electric bass and guitar. The first, "The Admiral's Point of View," has lightening crisp drums and a repetitive bass thump leading the vibes in a warm, accented rhythmic pulse. Easy, melodic, lightly dancing sound. This releases into an electric, slightly fuzzed Dean, rhythmic, almost talking solo that builds the swinging pulse. Back to Collier dancing and lyrical and developing the complexity. Warmth and joy abound. Frisell is on "47th & Hudson" as this rapid, tight dancing head has marimba moving and talking with the guitar and bass, and just easy, clean liks by Poor to hold and pulse the pace. It is a kind of bop-swing thing. Lots of suspends, holds, and little dances abound, which the bass and drums grab. Frisell just accents at first, as Collier is out driving, working those accents, holds, and suspends. Dean's bass is almost on a boogie run. They release, and Frisell begins slightly bent chords and then into chord patterns and bent notes floating over the others. Joyful, warm bends of the notes in Frisell's special way. Poo builds a tight drum sound, building a kind of Krupa swing shot. "Genesee" is back to Coryell in a quiet, warm ballad, with Collier playing on the ballad line and a soft bass touching with just a tad of guitar filling here. You keep waiting for the vocalsist to come in, this is so lyrical. As Frisell builds his work behind Collier's talking lines, you will find yourself singing. Where's the words? You are bathed in the warmth, and then Coryell builds on the melody with tight single notes with just a touch of bending all connected to the theme. Dean supports and holds, and Bishop is barely touching any percussion. Gorgeous. We wake right up on "Harmonious Effusion on Olga Street" as Dan Dean drives the line on electric, Poor rocks home the quic paced percussion, and the marimba is in and dancing as they drive a rockfish dash. Love the low percussive romp on marimba by Collier that then releases to a rapid-fire bass shot by Dean. Dean's guitar is almost hornlike in his solo. The whole thing is a romp. Frisell returns on "Fauntleroy Mist" with a soft Collier and easy bass. Frisell just touches in this warm countryside feel. The ballad is floating. They really create the mist feeling on this extended, nine-minute, warm excursion. A third of the way through, Frisell is totally singing the melody, bringing you into the line. I lived on an island for thirteen years and rowed back and forth. This is music to row to in the middle of the night. Coryell is on the final cut, "Across the Bridge," which has Collier in a stuttering pattern while the bass romps underneath with Bishop accenting, then the vibes come in to accent. Then, they have a descending phrase closing. Back to the head pattern with Bishop talking with vibes. Coryell with tight notes digs and warmly brings a liquid rock in tight phrases. Solid, complex solo lines by Coryell as he builds complexity and speed and a bit more rockfish as he develops the theme. After a curled last phrase, he releases to Collier, who dances to the pulsing, highly rhythmic bass run. Bishop pushes the driving punch that is developing between Dean and Collier. They are racing across the bridge. Dean makes his run with sometimes an acoustic bass feel. Delightful through the whole recording. Well produced, arranged and thought out.





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