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George Colligan: Twins

On Twins, recorded in 2000, Colligan addresses a program of originals and standards with inside/outside aplomb. As alluded to in the title, the format is stripped down to piano and bass. This gives Colligan even greater improvisational latitude across which the pianist’s synaptic spontaneity dances freely. In Jerome Kern’s “Nobody Else but Me,” for instance, Colligan’s choreography ranges from minimalist to maximalist, sometimes within a gesture only nanoseconds in duration.

For Twins, Colligan’s foil is the estimable young Danish bassist, Jesper Bodilsen. Like Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, Bodilsen possesses a warm sound, great dexterity, virtually faultless intonation and an aura of calm even in the midst of volcanic eruptions. Also like Pedersen, Bodilsen is a lyrical player whose supple lines unfold with ease. For a sample, check his sure-footed intertwinings with Colligan in the ebullient “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams.” The duo program also includes impressive limnings of James Williams’ “Arioso,” Keith Jarrett’s “So Tender,” Kenny Wheeler’s “Consolation,” John Stetch’s “Heavens of a Hundred Days” and Raoul Soot/Oskar Ling’s “Behind the Door.” On originals such as the title track, Colligan’s Monkish pointillism rings out; almost immediately, however, these echoes swirl with other influences and, most significantly, Colligan’s own considerable musical mind. The result: a set of intimate soundscapes worthy of contemplation and a source of deep musical pleasure.

Originally Published