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As a composer and pianist of considerable merit, George Colligan has been written about here before, as he has developed quite a catalog of releases for both the Spanish Fresh Sound and Danish SteepleChase labels. Able to remake himself in subsequent works, his efforts for SteepleChase range from savvy trios ( Activism with Dwayne Burno and Ralph Peterson and Stomping Ground with Drew Gress and Billy Hart) to audacious hard bop quintets highlighting the work of peers such as tenor man Mark Turner (i.e. The Newcomer and Constant Source ).
Managing to create quite a good deal of excitement in the duo format of just piano and bass, Colligan has hit his stride once again with Twins, featuring Danish bass virtuoso Jesper Bodilsen. Recorded by SteepleChase front man Nils Winther in Denmark during the winter of 2000, this collection of nine pieces clocks in at just a tad over an hour and includes not only two Colligan originals, but also some well-chosen pieces from fellow pianists Keith Jarrett, James Williams, and John Stetch. "Arioso" swings energetically in an advanced style. Even a swing chestnut like "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" takes on an unsullied and contemporary face via Colligan's sophisticated harmonic sense. The remarkable thing is that as technically proficient as he is, Colligan's playing is always presented with grounded passion and logic. In other words, he has really developed his own voice.
A real keeper all the way around, Twins is yet another fine collection to add to Colligan's already imposing body of work.
Track Listing: Twins, Nobody Else But Me, Behind the Door, Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams, Consolation, Scandinavian Rhythm, Heavens of a Hundred Days, So Tender, Arioso
Personnel: George Colligan (piano) & Jesper Bodilsen (bass)
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.