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Colin Stranahan: Dreams Untold

Currently being hailed as the new discovery on the scene, 17-year-old Colin Stranahan demonstrates monster chops, uncanny maturity, an unquenchable fire and an infinite capacity to swing on Dreams Untold (Capri). Stranahan comes out of the gate with lots to prove and he immediately silences skeptics with his incendiary performance on John Coltrane’s “26-2,” a formidable proving ground for any drummer. He moves adeptly from loose, polyrhythmic funk to a hip swing grooves on his “Romaine’s Groove” then plays impressionistic percussion on the extended free intro to “As If the Dream Were Untold,” the ambitious 12-minute centerpiece of this startlingly good debut. Stranahan’s longtime mentor, trumpeter Ron Miles, also appears as guest soloist on this expansive track. The young drummer demonstrates a sensitive touch with brushwork on pianist Jeff Jenkins’ trio piece “The Arrival,” and he showcases a remarkably sophisticated penchant for melodic playing on the kit throughout the powerful 12/8 tune “Not Yesterday, Not Today, Not Tomorrow.” Stranahan closes in burning fashion with a swinging uptempo blues, “Now I’m Up,” complete with tight, rapid-fire exchanges with the band. I’ll admit, I too was skeptical before cuing up this disc, but after one listen to the exhilarating Dreams Untold I’m convinced that this supremely gifted 17-year-old is the real deal-with shades of young Tony Williams.

Originally Published