All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

199

George Colligan: Como La Vida Puede Ser (How Life Could Be)

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Some of the greatest jazz talents are known not only for being talented instrumentalists, but also for their prowess in the area of original composition. Names that come to mind would have to include Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and of course, Duke Ellington. While George Colligan certainly has not yet achieved the name recognition of any of the gentleman in the above list, his originals are often light years beyond the norm in terms of ingenuity and substance. As a pianist, he's technically quite endowed, with a touch and feel for dramatic development that help make his solo forays go beyond mere technical exhibition.

An extension of Desire, a 1999 Fresh Sound date, Como La Vida Puede Ser again features an able group of Spaniards that Colligan befriended a few years ago. Lead horn Perico Sambeat comes across with a beguiling and tart voice on alto that recalls American contemporaries such as Kenny Garrett and Jon Gordon, with bassist Mario Rossy and drummer Marc Miralta forming a lithe and supportive rhythm section.

A strong flamenco influence can be heard throughout, with the opener, "El Gitano de Nueva York," particularly illustrative. The band even adds some handclapping in parts to reinforce the groove. "Underdog" is a stout bossa in the unlikely meter of 13/8. Like the best composers, Colligan has not chosen this odd meter just for novelty's sake, but has let the long form melody dictate the underlying pulse. Another unusual meter and some extra rhythmic peppering aid "Piedra Solar" in its trek down a long and shadowy road, Colligan throwing in a sly Herbie quote during his first solo turn.

The centerpiece of the album is logically enough the title track. An energetic romp with a terse melody voiced by soprano sax and harmonica, we find Colligan's trumpet engaging in call and response mode over the tune's subsequent development. His piano spot builds great momentum, the chords bounding in and out of time like a lively box of Mexican jumping beans.

Showing a more delicate side to his work, "First Kiss Goodbye" utilizes a straight eighth note feel, with Sambeat's soprano giving things a cheery inflection. Rossy contributes a deft solo, his sound recorded so vividly that you can clearly hear every string buzz and snap. Two standards also get a boost via Colligan's renovations, with "I Fall in Love Too Easily" featuring him on trumpet (George also plays drums quite well, by the way!) and "Conception" benefiting once again from some unusual rhythmic subdivisions.

So, once again Colligan has come up with an international meeting of the minds that confirms the universal power of music and of jazz, in particular. While it may take some looking to find this set, the work will more than be rewarded upon close aural examination.


Title: Como La Vida Puede Ser (How Life Could Be) | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

If the Mountain Was Smooth, You Couldn't Climb It

If the Mountain Was Smooth, You Couldn't Climb It

George Colligan
The Endless Mysteries

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
More Powerful

More Powerful

Whirlwind Recordings Ltd
2017

buy
George Colligan: The Endless Mysteries

George Colligan: The...

Origin Records
2014

buy
The Endless Mysteries

The Endless Mysteries

Origin Records
2014

buy
 

Isolation

SteepleChase Records
2011

buy
Living for the City

Living for the City

SteepleChase Records
2011

buy
Isolation

Isolation

SteepleChase Records
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Between the Silence CD/LP/Track Review
Between the Silence
by John Kelman
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Flying CD/LP/Track Review
Flying
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Barxeta II CD/LP/Track Review
Barxeta II
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Vidas Simples CD/LP/Track Review
Vidas Simples
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Kinship CD/LP/Track Review
Kinship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Ask For Chaos CD/LP/Track Review
Ask For Chaos
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 18, 2018
Read "Mirakler" CD/LP/Track Review Mirakler
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 9, 2018
Read "The Poetry of Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review The Poetry of Jazz
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 16, 2018
Read "Echo of a Heartbeat" CD/LP/Track Review Echo of a Heartbeat
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 6, 2018
Read "Incidentals" CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Dexter Gordon Quartet Tokyo 1975" CD/LP/Track Review Dexter Gordon Quartet Tokyo 1975
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 6, 2018
Read "Dirt...And More Dirt" CD/LP/Track Review Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018