George Colligan: Come Together (2009)
Pianist/composer/educator George Colligan decided to record Come Together after a successful ten-day tour of Japan in October 2008. Receiving an invitation for 2009, the hope was to return with a document of the trio's music. With much in-demand bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Donald Edwards, Colligan presents slices of funk, blues, bebop, fusion and light classical-tinged ballads, all neatly packaged and coming together superbly. Except for the opening title piece and oft-recorded standard, "The Shadow of Your Smile," the remaining eight tunes are all originals.
John Lennon's "Come Together" does not resemble the pop tune most people remember The Beatles playing; here, Colligan transforms it into a percussive piece of funk that overtakes the melody a bit, while nevertheless coming across as interesting. Kozlov is especially pronounced on Colligan's "Venom," but it is the pianist who takes over the piece with his energetic pounding of the keys. "Have No Fear" and "Reaction" are performed with similar intensity by the pianist, both tunes displaying a touch of the improvisational.
On "Open Your Heart," Colligan explores the classical side of jazz with a delicate and lush arrangement on one of the disc's several light ballads. The others are the original "So Sad I Had To Laugh" and, of course, Colligan's beautiful interpretation of Johnny Mandel's signature, "The Shadow of Your Smile," where the pianist is especially pronounced, providing a tender and graceful performance. The repertoire rounds out with some more funk-styled music on "Lift," and a solid measure of fusion on the finale, "Uncharted Territory."
Colligan, Kozlov and Edwards do, indeed, Come Together, feeding off each others' musical energy to design an album with wide appeal.
Track Listing: Come Together; Venom; Have No Fear; So Sad I Had To Laugh; Reaction; The Shadow of Your Smile; Lift; Open Your Heart; To The Wall; Uncharted Territory.
Personnel: George Colligan: piano; Boris Kozlov: bass; Donald Edwards: drums.