George Colligan: Mad Science (2003)
So when one of the truly great undiscovered jazz pianists of our time sits down at the B3, I hestitate before I push play. Sure George Colligan has taken up the organ on the latest discs by Lonnie Plaxico and Robin Eubanks, but those were supporting roles. His lightness of touch is surely wasted on the electric sound. Well, maybe a little.
This essentially organ/guitar/drum affair is broken up on five tracks by post M-BASE saxophonist Gary Thomas. The title track is a quirky little fuse-rocked piece with guitarist Tom Guarna working in the Scofield school to great effect. Power rock and jazz are certainly crowd pleasers. Likewise, “Modieidi’s Modalities” serves up the organ fusion meets bebop to high energy ratings. Colligan’s popping organ sets up the coolness of Thomas’ tenor waves.
The leader's “Seduction” is a light slow-danced melody, a certain favorite for jazz radio. “Thought Police” opens with a crushing drum solo by Rodney Holmes, then on to some nice tandem guitar/saxophone work.
Throughout, Colligan accents, solos, but never wows like he does when he plays acoustically. How is it that he can play merely a supporting role to a fine recording by Mr. Thomas and Mr Guarna here? Unselfishness? Maybe, or maybe it's that the organ trio died a while ago and nobody has let the record companies know.
Meet George Colligan on the AAJ Bulletin Board .
Track Listing: Barbarians; Earth Signs; Out From The Underground; Mad Science; Seduction; Tought Police; Alaska Basin; Modieidi
Personnel: George Colligan - Hammond B3 Organ; Tom Guarna - Guitar; Rodney Holmes - Drums; Gary Thomas - Tenor Saxophone, Flute.
Record Label: Sunny Sky