ReviewsMosaics presents a fascinating picture of a rich, multi-faceted life. It readily acknowledges that Collier was often single-minded in his dedication to strongly held views and sometimes perhaps unwisely persistent in his pursuit of same, but more importantly (like its stablemates on Tubby Hayes and Stan Tracey), it provides a valuable celebration of the work and legacy of one of the UK’s most important and influential musical figures.
London Jazz News
A hugely important and influential figure within the UK hotbed of modern-jazz musicians in the 60s and into the 70s. This is the latest in Equinox's attractively presented series of hardbacks on jazz subjects, and it's another erudite and academic assessment of a leading proponent of the music who determinedly ploughed his own - very deep - furrow. Duncan Heining's research embraces his own interviews with Collier and his associates, a thorough perusal of contemporary press coverage and sharply incisive and forensic analysis of the recordings in the Collier catalogue.
This is a very honest, very readable book, about a complex man. One of its incidental pleasures is that it gives a comprehensive picture of jazz in the second half of the last century in the UK. Heining says that his purpose in writing the book: ‘is my hope that readers will come to an appreciation of Collier’s rightful place in jazz - as a composer, educator and theorist.’ Heining succeeds in his objective.
One can't imagine a better biographer for this subject than Heining. He knows the work inside out and has spoken to anyone of consequence who crossed paths with Graham during his long career. Heining does a splendid job in discussing distinct aspects of Collier's work and life in separate chapters rather than trying to run with several simultaneous threads. But he is always most convincing when he engages with the music. [Collier] was a gentleman and a scholar, and he has found a gentle and scholarly biographer in Duncan Heining.
Brian Morton, Jazz Journal
[Collier's life] was one singularly marked with contrast and brave innovations and they are ably set down in Duncan Heining's biography. Heining documents his life with detailed scholarship and many interviews with fellow musicians. Like this book [Collier's recordings] are an enduring reminder of Collier's powerful musical brain and heart.
Chris Searle, Morning Star