George Colligan

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A veteran of groups led by saxophonist Gary Bartz and vocalists Vanessa Rubin and Cassandra Wilson, pianist George Colligan's second recording for Steeplechase is also his first leading a quintet. Colligan is joined by trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Dwayne Burno, and drummer Billy Drummond as they perform an unusual program of five originals, three by Colligan, one standard, an up-tempo rendition of Cole Porter's "So in Love," and two jazz classics. Originally a trumpeter, the Herbie Hancock-influenced pianist proves himself quite proficient on his chosen instrument, contributing an excellent solo on Wayne Shorter's overlooked "The Big Push." Other favorites include the complex "Empty Canvas," where each soloist gets a different meter to play over; "Ricardo's Tune," a Latin-influenced melody that swings on the bridge and during the solos' and one of the fastest versions of Thelonius Monk's "Evidence" that one will ever hear. A fine musical statement from an emerging talent.

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