David Cullen is a ferocious finger-style guitarist who has been the guitar tech and accompanist for Windham Hill founder Will Ackerman for years.

David Cullen is a ferocious finger-style guitarist who has been the guitar tech and accompanist for Windham Hill founder Will Ackerman for years. Truth be told, Cullen is a more advanced and precise musician than Ackerman. He can play the same airy melodies, but he also has a jazz side, and that's what shows up on In the Pocket. It's not easy to get down on a nylon string guitar, but Cullen does it, swinging from jump jazz to jazz funk, with stops at Brazilian samba and gospel. "Les McCann" nods to the soul jazz keyboardist, while "Call & Answer" has an African lilt. Cullen occupied the opening track of the first Windham Hill Guitar Sampler, but In the Pocket is more for late-night grooves than pastoral moods.—JD

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