George Colligan

Desire

Fresh Sound New Talent

Personnel:
George Colligan (p, tp, d, org), Perico Sambeat (as, ss, fl), Mario Rossy (b), Marc Miralta (d)

Reference: FSNT-071

Bar code: 84 27328 42071 6

"Desire" is Georges latest CD and really work out a conception for each song, not just as individual soloists, but in creating the overall structure of the music - the 'vibe'. It was recorded in Barcelona, just after two weeks touring Spain with his group and features the Spanish alto and soprano saxophonist Perico Sambeat, who plays with a lot of energy and very mature phrasing too.

Tracklisting:

1. Battle Cry (G.Colligan)
2. Darkness Rising (G.Colligan)
3. Ancestral Wisdom (G.Colligan)
4. Desire (G.Colligan)
5. Last November (G.Colligan)
6. Colors Of Love (G.Colligan)
7. Open (G.Colligan)
8. Epilogue (G.Colligan)
9. Upper Manhattan Medical Group (G.Colligan)

Recorded in Barcelona, February 1-2, 1999


Reviews:

"As a pianist and composer, George Colligan fits the category of talent deserving of wider recognition better than anyone else out of the current thirty-something crowd. Not yet a household name, Colligan can give his better-publicized peers, such as Brad Mehldau, a run for their money. He has already established a great catalog of recordings for the SteepleChase label utilizing various formats. Add to that this rather unusual project recorded in Barcelona, Spain for the Fresh Sound label. As the story goes, George was traveling in Spain and doing a tour with drummer Mark Miraltas New York Jazz Flamenco Reunion. Excited by the repartee that had been established, they went into the studio and cut Desire.

Colligan, with the exception of Strayhorns Upper Manhattan Medical Group, writes all of the tunes heard here. They cover quite a lot of ground. For example, Colors of Love sports a very authentic samba beat and Perico Sambeats airy flute voices the melody with just the right amount of sweetness. Both Ancestral Wisdom and Open explore various shifting meters, with the latter featuring Sambeats soprano and a reoccurring vamp that recalls Ralph Towners writing for Oregon. Last November is a lovely ballad-like piece that balances out the program, while the previously mentioned Upper Manhattan skates along nicely in five.

Make no mistake about the fact that the Spanish rhythm team assembled here is strictly first-rate and Colligan genuinely seems to prosper in this environment. His own playing continues to be marked by an advanced harmonic logic and a mercurial technique that allows his fingers to do whatever his mind dictates. While Desire may require a bit more effort to track down in comparison to major label product, its certainly worth the effort."

By Chris Hovan (All About Jazz)

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"The music is a heady brew - with an emphasis on heady as opposed to headlong thrusts -- there is much good sustenance here, suitable for return trios revealing the gifts in stronger detail each time out. Keep an ear on George Colligan."

By Willard Jenkins (Jazz Times)

********************************

"...Poise isn't all that Colligan brings to the keyboard. There's exuberance and improvisational flair, harmonic deftness, and a sometimes soulful, sometimes tender lyricism...Colligan's future is as bright as the attack he frequently favors..."

By Mike Joyce (Billboard)

********************************

"Rarely has such a young pianist made so striking a debut recording as this, Colligan seems to have done it. A melodist rather than a stunning technician, Colligan bears watching in the future."

By Jack Sohmer (Jazz Times)

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Colligan refuses to fall back into passive comping patterns when his bandmates are soloing; he continually prods the soloists with probing, unexpected phrases and expects everyone else to do the same."

By Geoffrey Hines (The Washington Post)

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"Whereas 1999s Unresolved featured George Colligan on piano, electric keyboards, trumpet, and even drums, Desire, his second outing on the Fresh Sound label, is more of an acoustic, scaled-down affair. Colligan plays only piano, and his two trumpet spots are restricted to brief melody statements. But although the leader is wearing fewer hats, the music is by no means less ambitious. His top-notch quartet includes saxophonist Perico Sambeat, bassist Mario Rossy, and drummer Marc Miralta. This lineup does not change at all throughout the record again a departure from Unresolved.

Colligan led this group in a series of live gigs just before the album was recorded, so the studio performances are as polished as they are fiery. Sambeats work on alto, soprano, and flute is consistently brilliant, Colligans solos dance with inspiration and invention, and Rossy and Miralta propel the music with rhythmic finesse and compelling solo statements of their own.

Colligans writing is informed by a cutting-edge jazz aesthetic that is at once searching and accessible. His Latin influences come to the fore on "Battle Cry" and "Colors of Love." The title track is a straight-ahead, joyous swinger, while "Last November" and "Darkness Rising" paint a more solemn picture. Colligan reaches the farthest with "Ancestral Wisdom" and "Open," two extended, odd-metered pieces, as well as "Epilogue," a densely harmonized, quasi-rubato sketch. His multi-metric, flamenco-tinged arrangement of Billy Strayhorns "Upper Manhattan Medical Group" is also a creative high point. (In a glaring though obviously unintentional oversight, Strayhorn is not credited as the composer.)"

By David R. Adler (All Music Guide)

Price:

$11.78  (tax incl.)

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