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Mallet Fantastique

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Customer Reviews

Mallet Fantastique Is What The Title Says

Whoever Tom Collier is, more people should know about him. His recent album, Mallet Fantastique is in a word, fantastic. Actually, Collier is director of percussion at the University of Washington and has been playing marimba and vibraphone since he was a kid more than fifty years ago. Although primarily into jazz during most of his professional career, he was trained as a Rockefeller Grantee in college in contemporary classical music. According to the album notes, he played pieces by significant composers including Terry Riley, Luciano Berio, George Rochberg, Ingolf Dahl, and many others during his undergraduate years in the late 1960's. Mallet Fantastique is a welcome return to that genre for Collier. However, this album features his own compositions and every one displays his creative talents as a virtuoso performer and a mature composer. The first track, Marimba Fantastique, is an extended solo piece combining written passages with improvised variations. The composed and improvised sections weave seamlessly in and out of each other so effectively that even the keenest ear would have trouble distinguishing between written and impromptu. The slow, middle section is hauntingly beautiful bringing out the wonderful organ-like tones of the rosewood marimba bars. Three Scenes for Vibraphone and Marimba blur the line between contemporary classical music and jazz. Obvious areas of improvisation are evident and Collier, who played both instruments through the "magic" of overdubbing, let's loose with some wonderful solos. The metal bars of the vibes and the wooden marimba bars mesh beautifully. Why isn't this combination more popular? As for the rest of the album, Cross Bars is the most avant-garde piece playing with math and rhythm, Duettino Improvisando is lightweight classical/jazz fusion and Vibescape is a showcase for the textural capabilities of the vibraphone. The second movement of that piece has Collier bowing the vibraphone bars with two cello bows. Absolutely beautiful. The album ends with a traditional marimba solo from the early 20th century entitled Radio Galop. Collier transcribed the piece off of an Edison disc. If you want to hear pure technique at its musical finest, this is the piece for you. Get this album! You will not be disappointed.

Biography

Born: 1950 in Puyallup, WA

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A talented multi-instrumental percussionist, Collier debuted at age 13 on The Lawrence Welk Show. He became intrigued with jazz and odd time signatures through Brubeck. Relocating to Los Angeles in 1974, he played with Ernie Watts, Bill Holman, Shelly Manne, Howard Roberts, Bobby Shew, and Don Ellis. He joined...
Full Bio
Mallet Fantastique, Tom Collier
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Mar 16, 2010

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