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Kiku Latte — Stories
(AMS 328, 2021, CD / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2021-12-12

Stories Cover art

Kiku Latte is a Japanese prog band that prominently features the flute. Do not expect to hear experimental flute pyrotechnics like Ian Anderson in Jethro Tull’s heyday. Flautist Kazumi Suzuki plays in a much more classical style. And answers the question can there be too much of a good thing? Yes, definitely.  Across the ten instrumentals on their new album Stories, the group plays a mix of prog, jazz fusion, and funk. Though Suzuki plays beautifully, there is simply too much flute overshadowing the other band members, which gives the impression that there is not a lot of variation from track to track. Classically playing a flute tends to limit what can be done. The most interesting tune on Stories is their cover of Jan Akkerman’s “House of the King,” which closes the album. This cover is pure multi-tracking of Suzuki’s flute and delay that creates a beautiful interpretation of this classic Focus song. The other nine tracks could have been enhanced by remixing so the flute does not dominate, and thereby showcasing the rest of the band members and the complex nature of some of the tracks. Stories is not necessarily an album I would recommend, unless you like pleasant and restful music that does not demand your attention.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Kiku Latte / Cichla Temensis

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