Micro Dave “Fuze” Fiucynski and RareNoiseRecords, sounds and micro-sounds
David Fiucynski is a genius. Stop. Enough said. What else could I add to this statement? Facts are simply talking by themselves. It think it would be enough to say that Professor “Fuze” is the leader of the Screaming Headless Torsos, that he teaches at the Berkley College of Music in Boston, where he is also the chief of the Planet MicroJam Institute, that he was reported by Guitar Player magazine in the list of 100 guitarists who have changed the world and is most likely the number one in the world with regards to fretless guitar.
I have been devoted to his cult for years and I consider him one of the best musicians, not guitarists, musicians in circulation, one of the few who has been able to collect all the legacy accumulated by people like Allan Holdsworth and John McLaughlin, bringing the electric guitar to a new evolutionary level.
Over the last few years he seems to have happily “married” to one of my favorite independent record companies: the RareNoiseRecords, a British company that has characterized itself thanks to a diversified and always interesting catalog.
Their relationship began in 2012 with the record “Planet MicroJam”, in which we can already find the musical basis of this partnership: the desire to create new musical forms combining Eastern and Western musical traditions with each other, associating the microtonal oriental (and africans) scales to the western groove. The result is a musical tapestry containing compositions by Fiucynski himself, arrangements by Beethoven and Sun Ra and by Julián Carrillo Trujillo, composer, conductor, violinist and Mexican musicologist, famous for having developed a theory of microtonal music named by him “The thirteenth sound”. To accompany Professor “Fuze” we find the talents of Jack DeJohnette, Kenwood Dennard, Jovol Bell and Erik Kerr on drums, Evgeny Lebedev and Takeru Yamazaki on the microtonal keyboards, David Ginyard on bass and David Radley on the violin.
In 2016 comes “Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian Microjam! “, Dedicated to the classical music composer Olivier Messiaen and the innovative hip-hop record producer JDilla, where he continues his ideas on musical composition even further, combining microtonal harmonies, jazz groove, Zappian polyrhythms and personal devotions towards Messiaen.
Inside we find everything: sounds of real exotic birds, modulations of microtonal keyboards, funky tunes, swings and solos of deadly fretless guitars. Each of the tracks on this record expresses a ton of innovative and interesting ideas that cannot fail to attract both the curious listener and the fetishist guitarist. An exceptional record, highly recommended, which skilfully combines complexity, intellectualism and immediacy, attracting the attention of both the expert and the more superficial listener. Ten refined and well-kept tracks that combine jazz, experimentation and world music, a valid and interesting record.
In 2017, shortly after, “Mikrojazz” arrives, a new cutting-edge record creature, where our hero, “Fuze” is still one of the last true guitar heroes, joins forces with the German saxophonist Philipp Gerschlauer exploring the musical world that hides in the interstices of the temperate scale.
Here we find the jazz legend Jack DeJohnette, the fretless electric bassist Matt Garrison and the microtonal keyboardist Giorgi Mikadze, a pupil of the Professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, a bold crew able to create dreamy and otherworldly soundscapes on the melodies invented by Gerschlauer and Fiuczynski, but where inspiration from LaMonte Young, Marc Sabat and McCoy Tyner also find space.
This year, 2020, a new CD arrives, under the name of the keyboard player Giorgi Mikadze, “Georgian MicroJamz”, the subject is Georgia’s folk music, one of the oldest and richest polyphonic traditions in the world, but still little known by the rest of the world contemporary. Giorgi Mikadze is not the first collaboration with Fiuczynski, since they had played together in “Mikrojazz”, but here he plays a leading role creating a surprising new hybrid of traditional Georgian folk music and microtonal jazz.
“Georgian Microjamz” discovers unexpected common ground between the ancient traditions of Mikadze’s native Georgia, where the Orthodox Christian church presented only vocal music in its services and the very modern microtonal innovations of Fiuczynski, accompanied by the bassist of Greek origin Panagiotis Andreou (Now vs. Now, Mulatu Astatke) and drummer Sean Wright (Musiq Soulchild, Taeyang). On three tracks the quartet is completed by the extraordinary voice of the Georgian choir Ensemble Basiani, while the singer and ethnomusicologist Nana Valishvili adds a harrowing vocal performance to Moaning, a hymn to the victims of the 2008 military conflict between Russia and Georgia.
Four records, four projects, four masterpieces based on the development of microtonal music, analyzed in four different ways. The strength and coherence of these records are exceptional and clear examples of cretivity: you can play contemporary, avant-garde, experimental, innovative music while at the same time creating an exciting and fulfilling narrative.