Dave Kikoski

Maze

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    5
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The Maze is David Kikoski's first quartet date and also his first all-original date. The lineup is promising, to say the least: Seamus Blake on tenor sax, Scott Colley on bass, and Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums. Unfortunately, the playing is solid but surprisingly restrained. And Kikoski's writing this time around is not as impressive. His intentions, however, are somewhat grandiose: The six tracks that comprise The Maze are thematically linked as a suite with autobiographical overtones, each piece addressing a different aspect of personal and emotional change. The concept seems to have overwhelmed the music to some degree. The album does pick up steam about halfway through, peaking with "Disentanglement." But overall, The Maze is not as thrilling as Kikoski's previous outings. His first wholly original program may have caused him to err on the side of caution.

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