142

George Colligan: Stomping Ground

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
One of the best-kept secrets in jazz, pianist George Colligan has developed an intrepid attitude that goes hand-in-hand with a strong sense of identity. That was just as apparent on his first date as a leader for SteepleChase, Activism, as it is on this latest excursion into trio territory. Tunes such as Charles Tolliver’s “Right Now” or Billy Harper’s “The Priestess” were not really created for the piano, their lines voiced more easily by a horn player, yet Colligan fashions his own interpretations by making up for a scarcity in melodic content via a full exploitation of the rhythmic capabilities of the piano. In fact, Colligan’s style is distinguished by a graceful equilibrium, his harmonic knowledge complemented by an advanced sense of rhythm that is rare for a pianist.

With chops to spare, Colligan tackles a distinctive if slightly obscure set of numbers while welding the uncommon ability to bring new life into each interpretation. In his hands, the pop ditty “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life” emerges without the banal sentimentality and with every possible nuance wrung from its structure. Imagine McCoy Tyner mixed with just a dash of Cecil Taylor, if you will. Yet, Colligan can manage a heartfelt ballad without a hitch too, a lovely take on Kenny Wheeler’s “For Jan” a beautiful case in point.

Of course, to get down with the serious business at hand no less than a world class rhythm section will do. No problem there- bassist Drew Gress and drummer Billy Hart follow every hairpin turn, even anticipating Colligan’s moves at times. What we have here is 66 ½ minutes of piano trio jazz at the pinnacle of perfection. ‘Nuff said!


Track Listing: Right Now, I Fall In Love Too Easily, Duchess, What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life, Upper Manhattan Medical Group, For Jan, Stomping Ground, The Peacocks, The Priestess (66:36)

Personnel: George Colligan- piano, Drew Gress- bass, Billy Hart- drums

| Record Label: SteepleChase Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Freedom is a State of Mind" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is a State of Mind
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 27, 2016
Read "San José Suite" CD/LP/Track Review San José Suite
by Nigel Campbell
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Chasing Pixies" CD/LP/Track Review Chasing Pixies
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Alba" CD/LP/Track Review Alba
by John Kelman
Published: June 10, 2016
Read "The Way You Say It" CD/LP/Track Review The Way You Say It
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!