Dave Kikoski: Details (2004)
David Kikoski has earned his chops backing everyone from legends like Roy Haynes (two decades and counting) to young gun David Sanchez. Though he can commandeer a set when he wants (an astoundingly fractured, nearly chaotic barrelhouse blues piano solo is all that remains in memory of the last Pat Martino gig I caught), by nature he's a team player: gently tenacious exploration and ethereal post-bop empathy are this Berklee grad's true bread and butter.
Thus Details , as you might expect from its title, is loaded with both. It's a trio disc, and for this kind of patient investigation, Kikoski could scarcely have filled out the group better. Bass man Larry Grenadier and drummer Bill Stewart provide the pianist with a near-telepathic unity that lifts the disc immediately above the ordinary. (Stewart, whose extensive trio forays with keyboardist Larry Goldings have prepared him magnificently for this kind of work, seems particularly alert.) From the group's leisurely twelve-minute stroll through Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way," to its thoughtful, intense work on Joe Henderson's great "Inner Urge," and through the host of tricky Kikoski originals that comprise the remainder of the material, ideas flow free and quick and no subtle shift goes unnoticed. (Even Kikoski's single-track detour on electric keyboard, "K's Blues," comes off.) Short on flash but loaded with exquisite three-way rapport, Details is a dreamy, first-rate disc from a player deserving more attention.
Track Listing: 1 In Your Own Street Way 12:13 2 Detachment 7:35 3 7/4 Ballad 9:09 4 Inner Urge 6:17 5 Juriki 6:00 6 Adorable You 6:45 7 K's Blues 5:45 8 Presage 6:52 9 Tag Blues 7:09
Personnel: Larry Grenadier: Bass; Dave Kikoski: Piano; Bill Stewart: Drums.