George Colligan

The Endless Mysteries

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Bobby Reed, DownBeat

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Pianist and educator George Colligan's profile continues to rise. He may not be as well known in some circles as his outstanding trio partners on this project - bassist Larry Grenadier and Colligan's frequent employer, drummer Jack DeJohnette - but he certainly has the chops to hang with them. The Endless Mysteries, Colligan's 24th album as a leader, contains 10 original compositions, many of which the keyboardist developed while playing with his students at Portland State University. Surprisingly, Colligan, Grenadier and DeJohnette didn't rehearse before the recording session. These ace players prove that when you've got great communication and sensitivity, you don't need a lot of rehearsal in order to make magic. "Song For The Tarahumera" illustrates Colligan's great touch, his terrific sense of dynamics and his ability to craft fluid yet complex lines. "Liam's Lament" is a showcase for his mastery of the melodica. The title track is a ballad that finds these three virtuosos gracefully exploiting the spaciousness inherent in the piano trio format. The album concludes with the poetically titled, melodically jaunty and emotionally powerful "If The Mountain Was Smooth, You Couldn't Climb It." Throughout this satisfying program, Colligan proves himself to be the best kind of leader: one who knows when to command the spotlight and when to let his gifted, well-chosen bandmates take over.






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