Since the release of his 2008 debut, Possible Beginnings, alto saxophonist Aakash Mittal has grown considerably, both as a player and as a composer. He and his quartet have always fused Eastern Indian music and jazz, but on Ocean, which features trumpeter Ron Miles, Mittal pushes things forward with songs that contain more depth and scope than previous efforts. The album starts off with the laid-back "Kolkata Pooja," but a few songs later, on the frenetic "Kolkata Hazra Rd.," the band, fueled by drummer Josh Moore and bassist Jean-Luc Davis, kicks in full force. That same intensity is injected into "Disymmetry," with Mittal and Miles playing off each other and guitarist Matt Fuller digging in later. Ocean is clearly Mittal's finest recording to date.
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