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Jon Hiseman

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Title: Jon Hiseman  
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Subject: Colosseum II, Barbara Thompson (musician), Colosseum (band), The Grass Is Greener (album), Dick Heckstall-Smith
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Jon Hiseman

Jon Hiseman
Jon Hiseman with Colosseum in Karslruhe (Germany), 2007
Background information
Birth name Philip John Hiseman
Born (1944-06-21) 21 June 1944
London, England
Genres Blues-rock, jazz fusion, jazz, progressive rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer, recording engineer, music publisher
Instruments Drums, percussion
Years active 1965–present
Labels Decca
Associated acts Colosseum, Tempest, Colosseum II, John Mayall, Graham Bond Organisation
Website .com.temple-musicwww

Jon Hiseman (born Philip John Hiseman, 21 June 1944 in Woolwich, London) is an English drummer, recording engineer, record producer and music publisher.


  • Career 1
  • Selected discography 2
    • With Jack Bruce 2.1
    • With Colosseum 2.2
    • With Tempest 2.3
    • With Colosseum II 2.4
    • With United Jazz + Rock Ensemble 2.5
    • Solo 2.6
  • Literature 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


In the mid-1960s Hiseman played in sessions such as the early 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.[1][2] Colosseum disbanded in November 1971,[3] although Hiseman later formed Colosseum II with Don Airey and Gary Moore in 1975.

Jon Hiseman 2010

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 [4] expanded editions of Valentyne Suite and Colosseum Live, plus several compilation boxed sets.

Hiseman's wife, saxophonist 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.[4]

Selected discography

With Jack Bruce

With Colosseum

With Tempest

  • Tempest – (1973)
  • Living in Fear – (1974)
  • Under The Blossom: The Anthology – (2005) [includes both albums + BBC session recordings]

With Colosseum II

With United Jazz + Rock Ensemble



  • Hanson, Martyn: Playing The Band - The Musical Life of Jon Hiseman, 2010, London, Temple Music Books, ISBN 978-0-9566863-0-5


  1. ^ """Review: "Colosseum: The Complete Reunion Concert Cologne 1994 (DVD). 29 December 2005. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  2. ^ "COLOSSEUM II music, discography, MP3, videos and reviews". ProgArchives. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  3. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 232. CN 5585. 
  4. ^ Book Review; Playing The Band-The Musical Life of Jon Hiseman by Martyn Hanson, 4 January 2011, The Jazz Mann.

External links

  • Temple
  • Interview, November 2004
  • "United Jazz + Rock Ensemble". Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  • Jon Hiseman at Drummerworld.
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