George Colligan

Return to Copenhagen

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There was a three-year lag between the recording and release of this fine solo piano disc, but since it follows on the heels of A Wish, Colligan's second duo session with bassist Jesper Bodilsen, the timing makes sense. A fantastic and terribly underrated pianist, Colligan shines in the unaccompanied setting. He offers six originals and five well-chosen, highly unpredictable covers, from Strayhorn (a stunning "Chelsea Bridge") to Pat Metheny ("Better Days Ahead") to Kenny Kirkland ("Chance"). He's got a thing for wordy titles, like "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here," based on a mean 5/4 bass riff, and "When You Love a Woman but She Don't Love You Back Blues," which is about as self-explanatory as it gets. He overflows with energy on Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge" and is deliberately disorienting on "Underground Emotions (Way Way Down)." But he begins contemplatively and lyrically with "Return to Copenhagen," which contains a fleeting reference to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."

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