George Colligan: Desire
Colligan, with the exception of Strayhorn’s “Upper Manhattan Medical Group”, writes all of the tunes heard here. They cover quite a lot of ground. For example, “Colors of Love” sports a very authentic samba beat and Perico Sambeat’s airy flute voices the melody with just the right amount of sweetness. Both “Ancestral Wisdom” and “Open” explore various shifting meters, with the latter featuring Sambeat’s soprano and a reoccurring vamp that recalls Ralph Towner’s writing for Oregon. “Last November” is a lovely ballad-like piece that balances out the program, while the previously mentioned “Upper Manhattan...” skates along nicely in five.
Make no mistake about the fact that the Spanish rhythm team assembled here is strictly first-rate and Colligan genuinely seems to prosper in this environment. His own playing continues to be marked by an advanced harmonic logic and a mercurial technique that allows his fingers to do whatever his mind dictates. While Desire may require a bit more effort to track down in comparison to major label product, it’s certainly worth the effort.
Track Listing: Battle Cry, Darkness Rising, Ancestral Wisdom, Desire, Last November, Colors of Love, Open, Epilogue, Upper Manhattan Medical Group
Personnel: George Colligan (piano & trumpet), Perico Sambeat (alto & soprano sax, flute), Mario Rossy (bass), Marc Miralta (drums)
Record Label: Blue Moon