Tenor saxophonist George Brooks equalizes the union of Indian classical music and jazz, abetted by an all-universe rhythm section and East Indian instrumentalists. With Spirit and Spice, Brooks projects a distinct voice as he poignantly merges the core attributes of both genres, and it's a happy marriage, indeed.
Brooks' authoritative presence looms on high-impact funk, and thrusting Indo-fusion pieces. On "Spirit," the saxophonist's yearning lines are designed with positive implications atop bassist Kai Eckhardt's resonating harmonics and pianist Frank Martin's supple voicings. Brooks quietly projects a memorable melody that he incorporates into a pungent bridge section, as drummer Steve Smith elevates the pitch with polyrhythmic pulses. Brooks' soul-drenched notes serve as the underlying context for Martin and guitarist Fareed Haque's darting solos, via a gradual shift of momentum back to the primary theme. "Spirit" is one of numerous highlights on this beguiling studio date.
Track Listing: Monsoon Blues; Spice; Silent Prayer-Madhuvanti; Spirit; Lalita; Sri Rollins; Peshkar For Hamza; Casting.
Personnel: George Brooks:saxophones; Fareed Haque: guitar; Kai Eckhard: bass; Steve Smith: drums; Zakir Huassain: tabla (7); Frank Martin: piano; Kala Ramnath: violin; Celso Alberti: percussion (8); Sridar Parthasarathy: mrdangam, ghatam, kanjira and vocals (1); Swapan Chaudari: tabla (2, 5).