Smooth Jazz guitarist Nick Colionne is emerging as a remarkable Contemporary Jazz artist. Keepin’ It Cool is Colionne’s debut on the Narada Jazz label in which Colionne’s Chicago Roots and Wes Montgomery style is celebrated.
Colionne is not new to the music world. He started playing music when he was nine and began touring when he was 15. Artists that Colionne has toured with include, Natalie Cole, Curtis Mayfield, The Staple Singers, and The Impressions. Colionne has also written many songs. Paul Anka and Johnny Mathis have recorded Colionne originals. Colionne has had many top 10 hits, however, Colionne is not just a very gifted artist he is also quite the humanitarian. Colionne counsels, he also teaches guitar lessons, computer skills, and has assisted with talent shows at an elementary school in Illinois since 1994.
Growing up Colionne was influenced by such artists as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Wes Montgomery, and Kenny Burrell. This CD tells life stories. Each song conveys emotion, and you are taken on a journey. Colionne says, "I am not a fan of one-dimensional records where every song sounds the same." Each track is distinctive.
"Can You Feel It," is the opening track to Keepin’ It Cool. Colionne’s guitar is smooth and funky. The melody reverberates continuously into the title track. As Colionne explains the title of this track he says, "I kept playing around with it, making it wilder and wilder, with more notes and ideas. After a while, I realized that it had gone out of control, and that I was losing the initial spark that made the melody so appealing. So, I had to keep reminding myself to ‘keep it cool,’ to lay back a bit and stay true to my original idea." Colionne succeeded in doing so!
The next track which is the first single off the project is entitled, "Always Thinkin’ of You." There is no doubt that this CD has a romantic ambiance to it. Colionne states that he’s at, "an emotional time in life." That is unmistakably echoed in his music. The next track, "If You Asked Me," which was written with fellow guitarist Peter White and saxophonist, Steve Cole is bright and appealing. "You Were There For Me", and "This Is The Song" are both very melodious and calming.
The next track, "John L" is the tribute to John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery. This track is kept in true Montgomery style. "I’ve recorded tributes to Wes on my previous four albums, even going so far as to do my own version of ‘Bumpin’ On Sunset’ Wes’ music still means so much to me, and I feel like the passion I have for his music comes out in my own performance." This is evident there is an audible passion that exudes from Colionne’s guitar.
The album ensues with the following tracks "From Me To You", "A Moment With You", "Liquid", "Catch Me" all exceptional compositions. "Rainy Night In Georgia" showcases not only Colionne’s guitar skills but also his vocal ability. The last song on the album is a bonus track from Colionne’s previous CD. This track is entitled, "High Flyin’." This track a massive radio hit in 2004 garnered Colionne a top 10 chart position on smooth jazz radio. Throughout the album Colionne’s skills on the guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, programming, bass, and vocals proves that there is nothing that this gifted artist cannot accomplish. Nick Colionne’s star is shining brightly and has yet to achieve its full luminance. There will be more to come from this successful and brilliant musician.
Keepin’ It Cool is a welcome addition to any music lover’s collection. Jazz lovers and music lovers alike will find common ground on this project. It is smooth yet funky, and eclectic. This is ideal to play at a party or at a more intimate gathering. Regardless of the occasion, you’ll be Keepin’ It Cool with this treasure.