Jazz Faculty member's new album reviewed in the NY Times Dec.23, 2013

PSU School of Music faculty member George Colligan's new album has received an outstanding review by Nate Chinen in the NY Times. Copied below is an excerpt from the article, published in the Music Section on December 23, 2013. For the full review, please click here.


“The Endless Mysteries”

One of the finer piano trio albums of 2013 —  released too late in the year, or on too small a label, to make a dent in the critics’ polls —  is George Colligan’s “The Endless Mysteries.” It’s a program of original compositions, most of them sensible and sturdy. And because it was recorded in a few hours with no rehearsal, it’s the product of rough-and-ready postbop expertise, rather than the lived experience of a steady band.


Whatever the sum of all that experience is, Mr. Colligan made it work for him. Some of his pieces on “The Endless Mysteries” seem designed for these specific partners, especially Mr. DeJohnette, in whose band he has played. “Song for the Tarahumera,” a scrappy modal tune, becomes a roiling drum incantation. “Liam’s Lament,” a beautifully restrained ballad, features empathic rubato work by Mr. Grenadier. (It also features a theme played on melodica, an instrument that Mr. DeJohnette has favored on his own albums; I had to check to be sure that it was Mr. Colligan doing the playing.)


None of these moves feel calculated or rigid, because Mr. Colligan and his partners work so fluently. And while some titles sound like the sort of exhortations that Mr. Colligan might use with his students at Portland State University in Oregan —  see “It’s Hard Work!” and “If the Mountain Was Smooth, You Couldn’t Climb It” —  he doesn’t seem to be straining in the slightest. He’s past that point by now. NATE CHINEN

Image: www.georgecolligan.com

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