George Colligan: Agent 99

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
George Colligan: Agent 99 As writer Mark Gardner so succinctly points out in his liners to pianist George Colligan’s latest SteepleChase side, “George is not about to sit back on his laurels. His curiosity and restless creativity will continue stimulating him to make and record music of a most singular stripe.” Looking at his previous six SteepleChase recordings, covering standards and originals and varying the line-up from trios and quintets to solo and duo projects, further solidifies this fact.

His third trio date, Agent 99 stands out from the pack for several reasons. First of all, it features two young musicians who worked very briefly with Colligan and have since gone on to other endeavors. Then, there’s George’s way of approaching the program of mostly standards that leads to anything but the routine or clichéd. It’s almost as if Colligan gets down on his knees, like a golfer examining all the angles before the final shot, looking for a new slant or perspective. Take for example Gigi Gryce’s “Minority.” It’s been done hundreds of times before, but not exactly like this. Colligan starts with single notes, almost in a childlike way, which he ponders over in highly rhythmic fashion. In another artistic move, we eventually arrive at Wayne Shorter’s “El Gaucho” only by way of interpolating a phrase from Herbie Hancock’s “Riot.”

One of only two originals, George’s title track sports a boogaloo tempo with a riff not unlike the classic groove of Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder.” But then, everything Colligan touches he makes his own. In fact, Cole Porter’s “You Do Something To Me” has been so transformed as to be almost unrecognizable. Aside from the sound quality, which seems a bit rough in spots, nothing but superlatives seem to be in order for yet another solid entry by one of New York’s finest.

Title: Agent 99 | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: SteepleChase Records


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Someone Else CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Falling Forward CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Imagination" CD/LP/Track Review Imagination
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Free World Music" CD/LP/Track Review Free World Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Warsaw Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Warsaw Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Faces" CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.