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January/February 2005

David Kikoski
Details
Criss Cross Jazz

Dave Kikoski's penchant for atypical time signatures and his effervescent rhythmic lilt has stood him well during his tenure in drummer Roy Haynes' band. On Details (Criss Cross) Kikoski gets plenty of percussive kick from a younger master: Bill Stewart. One of the most understated of contemporary drummers, Stewart meshes perfectly with both the leader and bassist Larry Grenadier. (All three have played and recorded together before, experience that tells.) Cut from the familiar Herbie Hancock-Chick Corea mold, Kikoski has nonetheless found his own way of standing out from the crowd. Leading off the album with a 12-minute "In Your Own Sweet Way" affords Kikoski and his cohorts all the space they need to assert their individual strengths and prove their compatibility as a unit. (The loose four-minute coda that follows the closing theme affirms their near-telepathic connection.) Less pleasing is Kikoski's fondness for the Fender Rhodes, whose sweet tone swamps "Juriki" and saps the intensity from "K's Blues."

Originally published in January/February 2005
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