George Colligan: Skeletons in the Closet


Skeletons in the Closet


George Colligan (keyboards, Fender Rhodes, trumpet)


Runaway (Sunnyside Communications SSC 1197)

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George Colligan (keyboards, Fender Rhodes, trumpet),

Tom Guarna (guitar), Josh Ginsburg (bass), E. J. Strickland (drums)


Composed by George Colligan


Recorded: Warren, NJ, November 27, 2007


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

Pianist George Colligan may not yet be known by a wide swath, but his skills as an accompanist are well known inside the jazz community. He has performed with Cassandra Wilson, Christian McBride, Buster Williams and others. Runaway is his first recording as leader for Sunnyside. It is a mix of straight-ahead, acoustic, free jazz, fusion and even a couple of numbers that the press kit suggests are appropriate for Quiet Storm radio formats. Luckily the latter two tunes do not quite reside in Smooth Jazz (pardon me while I gag) territory. Instead, quite pleasingly, they are more in the mold of Chick Corea's first Return to Forever group, which featured vocalist Flora Purim.

"Skeletons in the Closet" is noteworthy for its freeness. I will admit that free jazz is among my lesser curiosities. I have heard enough bad free jazz to determine it should only be heard in snippets. Ironically, the album's diverse format creates just that scenario. There is true creativity going on here. I can listen to 3:46 of this and find interest. Even in the freest of environments there are patterns that you can glom onto. I think that may be the secret to good free jazz. Don't make it totally free. When good musicians play any music it is good. This is good music.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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