For the evening set Achim played “Ballad II” from Kikuchi’s 2012 album “Sunrise” on ECM Records. Thom Jurek of writes of Kikuchi’s playing on the album: “[He] showcases an approach to the form that is mysterious, intuitive, and purposely unsystematic. Key changes and slight tempo variations occur suddenly, and then vanish as if their appeal has been exhausted, only to return at a later time — or not. Kikuchi‘s touch reveals no hesitation in his ideas. His harmonic statements are instinctive, canny, sometimes spare, sometimes subtly dissonant, but always compelling; they never force their way.”