Time out for a personal pitch regarding one of the most imaginative up-and- coming pianists on the contemporary jazz scene. Thirty-year-old New Jersey native, George Colligan has compiled quite a resume, what with offers for sideman gigs from Gary Thomas, Lee Konitz, Freddy Cole, Billy Hart, and Steve Wilson, not to mention a magnificent spate of recording activity that includes two sessions as a leader for Fresh Sound and another baker's dozen for SteepleChase. Problem is that very few outside the immediate circle have any familiarity with Colligan at all, and that's a shame because he's such a stimulating player.
While his past efforts for SteepleChase have put him in either trio (please check out Activism ) or large group settings (sample The Newcomer ), the recently-issued Small Room is a tour-de-force for Colligan's talents as a solo pianist. A virtual textbook on developing a set, the thirteen selections performed here bring out many sides of Colligan's personality and keep the attention level at peak performance. Along the way, you'll find everything from the mainstream swing of Kenny Barron's "Voyage" to more exploratory cuts such as "Afterthought" and Gary Thomas' "Exile's Gate." The lush romantic side also beams through with radiant takes of "Some Other Time" and "Only Trust Your Heart."
Clocking in at a tad bit over seventy minutes, Small Room was recorded in Denmark by SteepleChase owner and producer Nils Winther in 1998 and the overall recording quality is absolutely grand- focused, yet not too dry. As someone who as a rule typically avoids solo discs, the highest compliment I can give this set is that I never once reached for the remote and that's saying a lot!
Track Listing: I Love Music, Afterthoughts, Exile's Gate, Elves, The Dolphin, When Your Lover Has Gone, Small Room, Rule's End, Voyage, Quincy, Some Other Time, Caravan, Only Trust Your Heart (70:52)
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.