The piano of Greg Hatza and the tabla of Enayet Hossain are a brilliant pairing for a Jazz that touches on World Music in a way that gives the impression that they always belonged together. That is evident from the inaugural song, the title song, Talking Hands. The percussive piano and the rhythms of the tabla make for an invigorating start and it never lets up from there.
The fun and funky Crazy Calcutta Streets with the electric keyboards and the rhythmically demanding tempos of the tabla. Sweet Shop takes on an almost R&B feel that is driven by the tabla and expanded upon by the cool keyboards and ambient string synthesizer.
Dark Matter is kicked off by the furious rhythms of Hossain’s tabla and occasional interjections of the keyboards with fascinating harmonics and lush passages that are captivating. Midnight Mood has great piano moments that are kept steady with Hossain’s straight-ahead tabla. Deep Love is in the same vein with Hatza on the electric keyboards with excellent ambient passages and soaring moments that are meditative and inspiring.
Sultan’s Dream is south Asian funk at its finest. Hatza has studied sitar and it shows in his tone choices. The Conversation has some of Hossain’s best moments with the more than just the beats and rhythms, it is the harmonics of his tabla that is so mesmerizing. Hatza’s keyboards lay down the bass lines and his bent notes again remind you of the sitar.
The album concludes with Dialogue, maybe the best song on the album in my judgment. The rapid-fire tabla with the brilliant melodic lines of the keyboards are amazing. Again, Hatza plays the keys with the rhythmic precision of Hossain’s tabla. This is a great way to close an album.
Enayet Hossain and Greg Hatza’s Talking Hands is the best of all worlds—Jazz motivations and melodies with Indian rhythmic precision that makes for wonderful listening.
~Travis Rogers, Jr. is The Jazz Owl