E-Motion opens with a tune entitled "Little Monster," and the sound does seem to harbor a bit of monstrous malevolence: a hard swing, a robust and brash tenor sax in front of the trio, a punchy dark-toned melody.
The Sai Ghose Trio adds saxophonist Sean Berry to the mix on four of these eight tunes, with captivating results, mixing up the piano trio with an added dimension. The rhythm team seems to tighten and intensify behind the reedman, and Berry blows with supreme assurance.
The trio numbers feel looser, more relaxed. The classic "Black Orpheus," with just the trio team, sounds jauntynot a word I'd use to describe any of the previous versions of the song I've encountered. Ghose has a percussive touch; I knew this one was a winner on the opener, when he nailed a chord four times in quick successionboom, boom, boom, boombehind Berry's raging sax. Funny how an odd sonic interludeand one that, on paper, doesn't sound all that innovativesignals creativity and innovation and panache.
The Ghose Trio delves into emotion"Only to Depart" has a wistful feel; while "The Hope" walks an optimistic/pessimistic fine line.
A finely crafted package: strong melodies, a confident and talented pianist, solid rhythm and a hard-blowing sax man sitting in on half the set to mix the sound up. Ghose's compositions wander, wonderfully, changing meter, rhythm and mood, keeping the listener just slightly off balance, and thereby engaged from beginning to end.