Gary Tu is a talented young jazz guitarist, whose style reminds one of a Wes Montgomery (sans the octave doubling) with just a dash of Metheny. On Look East, the artist displays his guitar, composition and arrangement talents in a trio setting with drummer Andre Beasley and Bassist Kurt Schweitz - and it is a quite engaging set that is the end result.
Intriguingly divided into a first half of original tunes and a second half of jazz classics, Look East allows plenty of opportunity for Tu to display his graceful, mostly-uneffected single string charms. The opening title track is enhanced by the guitarists wind chime harmonics and robust riffing over a sure-footed rhythm section. Bassist Schweitz adds a harmonious solo here and is a consistent counterpoint to Tu throughout the recording.
I'll admit to somewhat glossing over The Cube the first couple of times through, but upon repeated listening this original tune has won me over with its toughness and tight changes and it is now one of my favorites. If there is a hit single on the album it is subsequent The Road to the Sky where Tu adds in some tasteful effects, soloing over a catchy pop/jazz progression. Sun Rise, on the other hand, is a sunny piece where Tu shows his skills in a bossa setting; while Passing Solitude” is an exemplary example of quietude and economy in playing.