Jazz Improv Pt.2 Using the Melody
by Christopher Collins
Chris Collins is a professional jazz woodwind player who has toured throughout Japan, South Africa, Europe and North America as the leader of his own ensembles and as a featured soloist. In 2007-08, Collins performed his original works in 7 countries on 4 continents. He has played professionally with artists including the Phil Collins Big Band, Doc Severinsen, Mel Torme, Michael Feinstein, Lou Rawls and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at jazz festivals including: Cork, Ireland, Montreux-Switzerland, Pori, Nice, North Sea, and Glasgow. His most recent CD release “Electo-Monk, Acoustic-Funk” (2009), fuses techno and acoustic jazz with stunning originality. His successful “Jazz from the Shamrock Shore” (Harriett Jazz/ASCAP) features extended compositions which artistically combine the instrumentation, musical vocabulary and repertoire of the Irish folk tradition with American Jazz. In addition to his work on commercial recordings and film soundtracks, including the soundtrack for the award winning Paramount Pictures release “The Big Night”, Collins’s jazz solo work can be heard on the CD releases “A Hot Night In Paris” The Phil Collins Big Band (Atlantic), “Twilight: Collins Quartet with vocalist Harvey Thompson”, “Urban Solitude” Chris Collins Quartet (Harriett Jazz), “A Time To Mourn, A Time To Dance” (Harriett Jazz/ ASCAP), and “Watching For Watchung Plaza” The John Cooper Quintet. Collins’s work has received recognition from Billboard Magazine, Detroit Jazz Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, The Detroit News, and the International Association of Jazz Educators.
Collins is Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He has presented numerous workshops around the world including presentations at Ishimori’s in Tokyo Japan, The Rampone Saxophone Museum in Quarne, Italy, The South African Jazz Educators Conference in Durbin, Capetown, and Grahamstown, South Africa, The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, and at numerous national I.A.J.E. conferences on topics including jazz saxophone/improvisation and distance jazz education. He has also contributed several articles to the Jazz Educators Journal including cover stories on Joe Lovano, Chick Corea, David Liebman, and Joe Zawinul.