Nick Colionne – Just Come On In

Nick ColionneNick Colionne
Just Come On In
(Three Keys Music – 2003)
by Ray Redmond

Nick Colionne has been kickin’ his guitar licks and building a following in the Chicago area for quite a while now. I once had someone visiting from Atlanta have me listen to this great CD she had with her, and it turned out to be Nick’s 1996 release Arrival… fancy that. With the coming of his new CD on Three Keys he’s ready to take it national… if not international. High Flyin’ starts it off in style with a moderate tempo and some classy finger work, this one is very radio friendly. It’s been too long is another rolling jam driven by Colionne’s guitar frenetics. From the Wes Side is a tribute that captures the essence and style of the late Wes Montgomery to a tee! This must have been one of Colionne’s idols… you can feel the emotion in the presentation. This and the very funky, organ infested 2 B D are my own two favorites.

The ballad Is it a Dream jumps over to the R&B side a little and features some very nice nice vocal work. Then Do You Love Me jumps right back over that fence, this one is smooth jazz to the core with some good keyboard accompaniment to Colionne’s flying fingers. Downtown has a more up tempo pulse with an ambience of percussion, feels a bit like Benson playing with Was Not Was, a little different but it worked for me.

There is a rendition of the classic My Favorite Things that really shines on this CD. Tackling one of the classics gives us a chance to hear how well Nick can hack his axe. He layers his unique style atop some strong back up and gives the listener a new view of a great tune. Then he does it again on the bonus track Hurry Up This Way Again, taking a familiar song and recooking it using his own spices and flavors to create it anew. I’m not sure why it’s taken Nick Colionne so long to get some national attention, but if guys like Steve Oliver and Nick’s new Three Keys label mate Michael Lington are getting the notice (deservedly), then Colionne should be right there. His skills are at least as good and he’s got that flair that sets him apart from those that are merely talented. Get the CD, see for yourself.