Terence Collie – ‘Reminiscent’

From early 2020, the Covid pandemic ignited a new creative development in Terence Collie, starting with a plethora of online YouTube recording collaborations to producing and co-releasing albums and singles with other artists, including two recording projects with vocalist Esther Bennett. With the start of 2023, it was the time to do a new solo project and something very different from previous releases.

A solo album was then the idea, recorded in just one evening session at Riverside Arts Centre (the home of the monthly Riverside Arts Jazz). The tracks were self-recorded and produced with his mobile recording set up and giving himself the limitation of no more than three complete takes of each tune before moving to the next piece. The result is a nine-track album of six original tunes (two of which were composed in late January 2023 for the recording date) and three quirky arrangements of jazz standards.

‘Ephemeral’ is a gentle reflective piece that conveys the sense of loss without being maudlin. The tune was written in the January of this year and somehow manages to balance the recognition of loss in the left hand and fond memories in the right. The second tune, ‘And Again’, is a brighter tune that starts with a bass line ostinato against which the right hand plays the melody. There is a nice and ebb and flow about this tune created by time signature shifts.

‘Lujon / I Thought About You’ is the first of the three covers on Remininscent. This is a good lyrical medley with a wonderful tone played at a tempo that allows the listener to hear all that is going on in the playing without distraction. Terence had been performing ‘I Thought About You’ as a rhumba but re-harmonized for this medley using “minor tonality” and that does come across well. ‘Fauda Blues’ has a delightful Arabian feel about it in a repeating phrase that underpins the bright melody.

The title track is “a brooding minor tune with a modal feel” written some time ago but not, until now, been recorded. Like the album’s opening tune, this is a reflective piece composed with good use of light and shade, variations in tone and pitch and beautifully phrased. The next cover is one any listener of jazz music will be familiar with: ‘Caravan’. The bass line is good and strong and is contrasted very well by the right hand playing that somehow manages to create a contemporary sound without losing sight of the original composition.

‘Hubble 30’ was written in 2020 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Hubble Telescope and was originally composed to be played by a group. Having not heard this music before I am unable to comment on how it compares to this solo effort. What I can say is that this version works! There is a feeling of space in the way that the melody is conveyed but also a perception of exploration in an expanse of the unknown. ‘August’ is the shortest track on the album but is packed with the style and breadth of Terence’s piano playing; good bass lines, use of chords, nice little runs in the right hand, no note or idea wasted or overplayed.

‘Don’t Explain’ is the third and final cover that appears on the album and was the signature tune of an unnamed jazz singer who died in 2018. The arrangement, by Terence, is sublime as is the playing. The admiration and love for this singer is palpable. There is a gentleness in the opening bars a tentative touch that suggests a still coming to terms with loss. As the melody develops so does the assurance of touch but still with that not ready to accept feel, all of which comes through the phrasing and timing of the playing.

This is one of those albums that the listener needs to immerse themselves in to appreciate the style, sentiment and feeling of Terence Collie’s compositions, arrangements and playing. When playing solo there is nowhere to hide and every musical decision the musician makes is laid bare for all to hear. In Reminiscent Terence Collie has produced an album that carries its title well, that imparts its emotional content with subtlety through deftness of touch and consummate skill. There is also a sense of fun (‘Caravan’) and adventure (‘Fauda Blues’) to balance out the album across its nine tracks. Should I ever get the chance to hear Terence play solo live I will take it but I the mean time I will happily make do with this very good album release.

Reminiscent is available now in digital and CD format from Bandcamp. The album launch will take place at the Café Yukari, Richmond, March 26th.

Tracklist: 1. Ephemeral. 2. And Again. 3. Lujon / I Thought About You. 4. Fauda Blues. 5. Reminiscent. 6. Caravan. 7. Hubble 30. 8. August. 9. Don’t Explain.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.