When, in 2006, Nick Colionne released ‘Keepin It Cool’ it proved to be something of a watershed in his already blossoming career. The first single from the album, ‘Always Thinking of You’, monopolized the R&R charts for most of that year while parallel with this success his reputation as a sensational live performer grew and grew. Those who have seen him play live will have been blown away by the sheer energy that Colionne injects into his music. It’s an element of his persona comes right out of his home town of Chicago and he brings all this and more to his excellent up coming release ‘No Limits’.
Already described as both unique and varied, ‘No Limits’ is Colionne’s way of pushing the artistic envelope into areas that transcend genres or styles of play. Right from the get go he uses the mid tempo title track to demonstrate the energetic infectious smooth jazz that he has made his own while also mid tempo, and also hallmark Colionne, is the dance infused ‘Steppin’ Back’. It’s subtle yet telling use of strings hints at a sound right out of Philadelphia but he quickly takes it back to Chicago for the jazzy ‘On The Edge’. Mellow gems such as ‘Until Tonight’, ‘Take A Walk With Me’, and his Montgomery-esqe ‘Headin Wes Before Dawn’ all exemplify the ease with which Colionne can turn down the tempo and he keeps it deliciously cool for the Latin tinged ‘Ports of Call’’. ‘Godfather J’ is up tempo and funky whilst a track that typifies ‘No Limits’ is ‘Big Windy Cat’. Starting out with an intoxicating bluesy vibe, Colionne quickly cranks the groove to produce another great example of his special high octane contemporary jazz which, in every respect, is a joy from beginning to end.
Although Colionne writes or co-writes eleven of the twelve tracks he has nevertheless added the writing prowess of two Grammy-award winning writers to the mix. Jim Peterik, who wrote the theme from the film Rocky, ‘The Eye of The Tiger’, collaborates with Nick for two songs while Paul Richmond, who composed ‘Shining Star’ for The Manhattans provides another. The Peterik Colionne compositions ‘Melting Into You’ and ‘Hard Line’ allow Nick to show off both his vocal prowess and bluesy guitar to remarkable effect. In fact Colionne has an excellent yet underused singing voice which he also makes great use of on the Paul Richmond penned ‘Anywhere’. When Colionne later reprises this enticingly soulful number in instrumental form he delivers what is arguably the albums standout track.
‘No Limits’, which is released on the KOCH label, will hit record stores across the USA on July 8. For more information go to www.nickcolionne.com