151

George Colligan: Come Together

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
George Colligan: Come Together
Mathematically, it would be well nigh impossible to count the multitude of sensory organs and multiplicity of fingers (and thumbs) at work in pianist George Colligan on Come Together. Sometimes they work in unison, while at other times quite independent of each other, to produce daring polytonality. In a voice as charismatic as an evangelist at a convention, Colligan often sounds blasé and forthright; but there are times, when the music calls for it; that he turns so soft and hermetically reticent as to seem almost withdrawn. But he is merely interpreting the music as it should be—with precision, elasticity and evolving sentiment.

The modal aspects of this music are strong and Colligan plays it all with a steely muscularity. More often he adds dazzling lines of invention, as on "Come Together," where he extrapolates on the melody, organically extending the harmonics. These improvisations come in thick foamy waves, tossed out from the internal melody and, because Colligan is quick-witted, there may often be many ideas simultaneously. Happily, however, they flow one into the other, and always have a beginning, middle and end. The pianist's ensemble playing, leading up to his solo in "Have No Fear" and up to when the mighty bassist, Boris Kozlov takes over, is a case in point.

Stylistically a chameleon, Colligan bends like a reed in the wind, giving way to the myriad harmonic ideas of musical coloration from Kozlov and melodist, rhythmist and drummer, Donald Edwards. The dramatic irony of "So Sad I Had to Laugh" is developed with gentle sentimentality, from wit to tears, with beautiful simplicity. The whole trio is aglow here, with Edwards' tremulous brush work sounding like a shiver running down the spine as the story unfolds. And Kozlov—right down to his mournful arco passage at the end—shows why he is so highly rated and holds down the bass chair in the Mingus Big Band His arco solo on "To The Wall" is pure genius.

Colligan's inflections, as he traipses across the rhythmic melody of "Reaction," and his percussive angularity on tracks including "Have No Fear" and "Uncharted Territory," are a strong testament to kinsmanship with the musical politic of pianists like Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols and Don Pullen. On "The Shadow of Your Smile," Colligan states the melody—only just—and then flies in the face of convention as he deconstructs the Mandel/Webster standard. Then, as Colligan surfaces for air, Kozlov takes flight and Edwards marks time before he makes a short rhythmic odyssey.

In trio settings, the individual virtuosic brilliance of the musicians involved is too close for comfort as they constantly play off each other. There is also a heightened sense of empathy that keeps the body and soul of the trio together. There is plenty of it in Keith Jarrett's outstanding trio, and in George Colligan's fine trio as well.

Track Listing

Come Together; Venom; Have No Fear; So Sad I Had to Laugh; Reaction; The Shadow of Your Smile; Lift; Open Your Heart; To The Wall; Uncharted Territory.

Personnel

George Colligan: piano; Boris Kozlov: bass; Donald Edwards: drums.

Album information

Title: Come Together | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Hug!
Hug!
Matt Wilson Quartet
Read Touch & Go
Touch & Go
Susan Tobocman
Read The Ilkley Suite
The Ilkley Suite
Jamil Sheriff
Read Moving Through Worlds
Moving Through Worlds
Fiona Joy Hawkins
Read Data Lords
Data Lords
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Read Sleepy Town
Sleepy Town
Jamie Pregnell
Read Momento
Momento
Dave Milligan
Read Peace
Peace
Spirit Fingers

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.