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...

201

George Colligan: Runaway

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
To borrow a phrase, the cat is out of the bag. George Colligan has been said to be one of the best kept secrets in jazz. With Runaway, his cover is blown.

Colligan has been a sideman for such artists as Cassandra Wilson, the Mingus Big Band and Christian McBride. He studied a variety of instruments before settling on keyboards. A product of the fusion era, he also embraces mainstream influences. He's also had associations with Ravi Coltrane, Vanessa Rubin and Phil Woods, among others.

Runaway is a bit of mainstream and a bit of fusion, with a few other things thrown into the mix. "The End of a Dynasty" is a straightforward, acoustic piece featuring Colligan on piano. "The Righteous" is a throwback to one of those early 1970s Santana instrumentals, partnered with an electronic sound expected from Weather Report or Eumir Deodato. Guitarist Tom Guarna gets things started before giving way to Colligan on the Fender Rhodes. During the leader's solo, bassist Josh Ginsburg and drummer E.J. Strickland lay down an effective groove. During one sequence, the leads repeat the same phrase several times while Strickland mixes things up on the drums. Then Colligan adds an improvised keyboard solo. The result is quite engaging.

Kerry Politzer adds voice and piano to the charming if not sad ballad, "When I Go." Her singing is ethereal, but she also contributes some wordless vocals, adding to the song's beauty. Colligan engages in a bit of wordplay with "R U Things the All?" that twists the standard "All the Things You Are" and comes up with something completely fresh. While his piano play is the focal point, the drums and bass show off a bit as well. Guarna contributes a solo worthy of Montgomery, Ritenour or Benson.

"Be Gentle" is a lesson in freedom. Though its sound is pop friendly, its length (more than eight and a half minutes) and abstract instrumentation may challenge some listeners. "Skeletons in the Closet" is much shorter, but even more abstract—a technical masterpiece with no coherent melody.

Politzer returns for "Forlorning," a hauntingly beautiful ballad. Her flutelike inflections are a highlight of this selection. The piano is superb.

The remaining tracks offer more of the same—straightforward acoustic jazz here, fusion there, unbridled musical energy everywhere. Colligan composed all 11 songs, and in addition to the piano and Fender Rhodes, he plays trumpet and synthesizers. Though the ensemble is only a quartet—a quintet on the Politzer tracks—the sound seems fuller, richer.

Track Listing: End of a Dynasty; The Righteous; When I Go; R U Things The All?; Be Gentle; Skeletons in the Closet; Forlorning; Ghostland; Waltz For All The Things We Meant To Do And Never Did; Innocent Youth; Runaway.

Personnel: George Colliagan: piano, Fender Rhodes (2, 3, 5, 7), trumpet (10), synthesizers (2, 5, 7); Josh Ginsberg: acoustic bass, electric bass (2); Enoch Jamal Strickland: drums; Tom Guarna: guitars (2-6); Kerry Politzer: voice (3, 7), piano (10).

Title: Runaway | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

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
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
More Powerful

More Powerful

Whirlwind Recordings
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 "Journey Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Journey Moments
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 8, 2018
Read "West Coast Trio" CD/LP/Track Review West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read "Cabin In The Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Cabin In The Sky
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 16, 2018
Read "Together" CD/LP/Track Review Together
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 26, 2018
Read "Rumah Batu" CD/LP/Track Review Rumah Batu
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 30, 2018
Read "Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan" CD/LP/Track Review Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 18, 2018