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Jon Hiseman with Colosseum in Pratteln (Switzerland), 2015
|Philip John Hiseman|
21 June 1944 |
|Genres||Blues-rock, jazz fusion, jazz, progressive rock|
|Musician, songwriter, producer, recording engineer, music publisher|
|Colosseum, Tempest, Colosseum II, John Mayall, Graham Bond Organisation|
In the mid-1960s Hiseman played in sessions such as the early Arthur Brown single, "Devil's Grip". In 1966 he replaced Ginger Baker in the Graham Bond Organisation and also played for a brief spell with Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames. He then joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in 1968 playing on the iconic album Bare Wires. In April 1968 he left to form what has been critically claimed as the "seminal" jazz rock/progressive rock band, Colosseum. Colosseum disbanded in November 1971, although Hiseman later formed Colosseum II with Don Airey and Gary Moore in 1975.
Between these two versions of Colosseum, Hiseman formed the band Tempest with Allan Holdsworth, Paul Williams and Colosseum bandmate Mark Clarke. Ollie Halsall joined the band temporarily making the band a quintet but Holdsworth left the group along with Williams, leaving Halsall to handle all guitar and vocal duties.
Hiseman has subsequently played in jazz groups, notably with his wife, saxophonist Barbara Thompson, with whom he has recorded and produced fifteen currently available albums. Andrew Lloyd Webber, searching for a "sound" for an album to feature his brother Julian on cello, stumbled upon Colosseum II by accident and imported the whole band into his "Variations" project. This was the start of a ten-year relationship with Hiseman, whose drumming features on recordings, TV specials and musicals.
In 1982 Hiseman built what was at the time a state-of-the-art recording studio next to his home, and together with the compositional skills of Barbara Thompson produced many recordings for film and television soundtracks. Hiseman is a founding member of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, a German-based "Band of Band Leaders", along with Barbara Thompson.
Colosseum reunited in June 1994 with the same line-up of musicians as when they broke up 23 years earlier. They played the Freiburg Zelt Musik Festival and followed it up with a German TV Special (WDR Cologne) in October, which was recorded and released as a CD and a VHS video; a DVD version followed in 2003. Several new studio releases also followed, as well as  expanded editions of Valentyne Suite and Colosseum Live, plus several compilation boxed sets.
Barbara Thompson joined the band on various occasions before the death of Dick Heckstall-Smith in 2004 and is now a permanent member of the band, which continues to record and, from time to time, tour the German-speaking territories.
In October 2010, a biography of Jon Hiseman, entitled Playing the Band, was published. It was written by Martyn Hanson and edited by original Colosseum manager, Colin Richardson.