Bassist and kora (a stringed African instrument) player Jean-Jacques Avenel and drummer John Betsch, former members of the Steve Lacy trio, are joined by Italian pianist Achille Gajo for a disc of music that moves you delicately from within. The melodies are delightful in the manner similar to Vince Guaraldi's music: light and sweet with an undercurrent of harmonic uniqueness. There's no head-banging or thrashing of instruments here, just musicians mature and comfortable enough to know a good thing isn't dependent on needless displays of technique or volume in order to make a cogent musical statement. I defy anyone who listens to this disc not to want to immediately listen to it again and again and again - it's that good.
Gajo is an extremely adept musician who finds ways to mix his American gospel/Richard Tee influences, listen to the rolling left hand bass octaves during Blue Sand and the right hand dancing in Rwanda, with his superb feel for time just off-kilter enough to arouse delicate feelings of anticipation, as in the triple meter shifts of Shark Waltz. More than ably supported by longtime under appreciated drummer John Betsch's nimble cymbal work and Avenel's tasteful use of the upper reaches of his upright bass, this trio cooks the way you wish all bands did. If you're a student of jazz and you don't own this recording, shame on you, and if you're a lover of jazz you should have ordered this disc yesterday.