India Looking West
Don't let India in the title misdirect you into expecting sitars and tablas. Each of the 11 tracks on this album is straightahead and strongly swinging. The New England-based trio delivers a well-balanced mix of six standards and five originals by pianist Sai Ghose, whose playing style is reminiscent of Wynton Kelly and Tommy Flanagan's.
The opening track, "Staccato," is a Latin-rhythm original featuring strong interaction between Ghose and drummer Mike Connors. The walking bass of Jerry Wilfong defines a second original, "HMG Blues," while the title track offers a sensuous melody line melding Eastern and Western influences.
The trio demonstrates both artful invention and refreshing vigor on evergreens such as "There Is No Greater Love," "Close Your Eyes" and "Night and Day." Perhaps the most beautiful tracks, suggestive of early Ahmad Jamal trio recordings, are "In a Sentimental Mood" and "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise." This trio is destined for success.