I must confess that I recently signed a petition to call for the end of B3 organ recordings. Not that I haven’t enjoyed the jazz organ playing by Jimmy Smith, Charles Earland, and Sun Ra... just that with the reinvestigation of the instrument since the late 1980s and 1990s the storm gates have opened for John Medeski, Larry Goldings, Joey D – not to mention the return of Mr. Smith, Jack McDuff, and Big John Patton – to name just the tip of the iceberg. It seemed for a time that if you could press a couple of keys, you could make a record.
So when one of the truly great undiscovered jazz pianists of our time sits down at the B3, I hestitate before I push play. Sure George Colligan has taken up the organ on the latest discs by Lonnie Plaxico and Robin Eubanks, but those were supporting roles. His lightness of touch is surely wasted on the electric sound. Well, maybe a little.
This essentially organ/guitar/drum affair is broken up on five tracks by post M-BASE saxophonist Gary Thomas. The title track is a quirky little fuse-rocked piece with guitarist Tom Guarna working in the Scofield school to great effect. Power rock and jazz are certainly crowd pleasers. Likewise, “Modieidi’s Modalities” serves up the organ fusion meets bebop to high energy ratings. Colligan’s popping organ sets up the coolness of Thomas’ tenor waves.
The leader's “Seduction” is a light slow-danced melody, a certain favorite for jazz radio. “Thought Police” opens with a crushing drum solo by Rodney Holmes, then on to some nice tandem guitar/saxophone work.
Throughout, Colligan accents, solos, but never wows like he does when he plays acoustically. How is it that he can play merely a supporting role to a fine recording by Mr. Thomas and Mr Guarna here? Unselfishness? Maybe, or maybe it's that the organ trio died a while ago and nobody has let the record companies know.
Enjoy Three Days on the Beach with Snarky Puppy, Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, Lettuce, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Lila Downs, Michael McDonald Acoustic Quartet, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Flor de Toloache and more—February 14-16, 2020 at the North Beach Bandshell in Miami, FL.
The winner receives a 3-day pass for two. Excludes travel or lodging.
Acclaimed by the New York Times as one of the “Top 10 Definitive Moments of the Decade in Jazz Music,” GroundUP goes beyond the typical festival experience, breaking down the barriers between audience and artists...
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!
Find All About Jazz articles, news, musician pages, and more!