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George Colligan: Small Room

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In a solo setting, George Colligan displays sensitivity not heard in his previous recordings. Whether recording under his leadership or as sideman for trumpeter Eddie Henderson or saxophonists Gary Bartz or Gary Thomas, Colligan opted for thrills and bebop lines. As a soloist he has the subtle feel of the great Bill Evans. Like Evans, he can appeal to the romantic and classical listener. Colligan seems to reject the urge to swing on several tracks, a calculated emotional abstinence. He uses this device to great effect, exhibiting technique over sentiment. It is a tribute to his maturity as a composer and interpreter of music. But that is not to say he cannot swing. Take Kenny Barron’s “Voyage” or the classic Ellington/Tizol “Caravan.” The pianist circles the familiar without cliché, and makes an impressive work with a flurry of notes and blocks of chords. Where his sparse use of notes generates a mood on other tracks, the bustle he uses here is majestic.

Track List:I Love Music; Afterthought; Exile’s Gate; Elves; The Dolphin; When Your Lover Has Gone; Small Room; Rule’s End; Voyage; Quincy; Some Other Time; Caravan; Only Trust.

Personnel: George Colligan

Record Label: SteepleChase Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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