|Jon Hiseman playing at Pizza Express Jazz Club in Febuary 2018
Photo credit: Paul Wood
Peter Bacon reports:
The death has been announced of Jon Hiseman, drummer and leader of the jazz rock band Colosseum. According to an announcement by his family, he “passed away peacefully at 3.55 this morning”. In May he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was 73.
Hiseman was born in London on 21 June 1944 and studied violin and piano until he was 13; he taught himself to play the drums. He was a founder member of the New Jazz Orchestra in 1964, and also played with the Graham Bond Organization and with Georgie Fame’s Blue Flames. After a period with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers he formed Colosseum, which operated between 1968 and 1971, followed by Colosseum II from ’75 to ’78. He reformed the band in 1994.
He married saxophonist Barbara Thompson and played in her band Paraphernalia from 1979. He also played in the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble from the mid-‘70s. His most recent project was the trio JCM (with guitarist Clem Clempson and bassist Mark Clarke).
John Hiseman was also a very active engineer, producer and label boss of TM Records.
His story was told in Martyn Hanson’s biography, Playing The Band – The Musical Life of Jon Hiseman, published in 2010.
Tributes on Twitter include “a great drummer and human being” from Jan Akkerman, and “great drummer, lovely person” from Julian Lloyd Webber.
John Etheridge told LJN: “I’m so shocked by this. Jon was the most admirable and impressive man – band leader, fabulous drummer, composer, record producer, all-round positive energy – and, most importantly, inspirational and devoted carer for Barbara in her long illness – so much so that he became a world authority on caring for Parkinson’s. Astonishing energy, vitality and intelligence – always able to solve a problem. I can’t belive he’s gone.”