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Tim Collins is a young vibraphonist from New York City, and Live In Concert documents his March 24, 2002 graduation recital at the Manhattan School of Music.
Collins frequently gigs in the New York area (often as a duet) with pianist Ayako Shirasaki. Bassist Miles Brown and drummer Obed Calvaire are his preferred accompanists when available. Each musician plays well here, but the compositions – all by Collins – are what provide the album's strength.
"Buzzy John's Blues," a minor blues with a pentatonic melody, is based on Chick Corea's "Steps" from Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (Blue Note, 1968). The minor waltz "Song For Jason" is dedicated to the memory of Collins' college freshman roommate, who drowned after their junior year.
Collins wrote the rhythm for the funk tune "Brooklyn Boogaloo" first, and then the melody, and you can tell. "Tiptoe," from several years ago, is his favorite. As you would imagine, it's quiet. It reminds me of something Mike Nock might write. The highlight of Live in Concert is the aptly named "Two Part Song," comprised first of a rubato with no beat behind it, then a rhythmic section with the bass and drums joining in. After the group revisits the first section with a bossa nova feel, the album closes with a short two-minute song, "Without Reason," based upon a neapolitan sixth chord.
Tim Collins has a future. If this quartet were the house band of a club in the heartland, it would be packing them in every night!
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.