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Jazz's modern mainstream needs new blood in the form of emerging artists, innovative ideas, and creative new compositions. Pianist Sai Ghose comes up with a welcome plan on New Blood, bringing several new pieces to interpret with his quartet. They're tight. Everything seems to click as the four artists turn loose a spate of creative fire that spins with a rhythmic groove while paying respects to melodic beauty.
Six AM comes equipped with a gospel flavor that soothes with a light, mellow texture. Everyone seems to relish the idea of paying tribute to conventional wisdom. With "Cinq-ro-mesh, the quartet moves through an enjoyable suite of hard-driving anxiety that grooves in 5/4, then walks the jazz walk, and eventually returns to its original feisty mood. Similarly, Ghose takes the quartet on an adventure with "Talkin' Trash, which features a lovely piano outing filled with hip attitude. The piece turns contemporary in its transition, while the quartet's texture remains conventional. They've realized the best of both worlds.
Guitarist Mark Jodice lends considerable fire to the quartet's adventure, and both bass and drums contribute stellar support. They both solo, too, giving the program plenty of creative variety. Ghose's "The Strut ambles gracefully with a comfortable blues outlook, while Jodice's "Zeal rips up-tempo in an ambitious attack that pushes hard but comes from traditional, straight-ahead ancestry.
They close with "Signature, which Ghose wrote with swing and comfortable ease on his mind. The piece's lovely bossa mood allows the quartet to exit confidently with a firm, forward-looking view of where jazz should be heading.
Track Listing: New Blood; Cinq-ro-mesh; Just Before Six AM; Six AM; Talkin Trash; The Strut; Zeal; Little Bs Poem; Signature.
Personnel: Sai Ghose: piano; Mark Jodice: guitar; Jerry Wilfong: bass; Craig Fahey: drums.