How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Guitarist David Fiuczynski has done projects all over the map. His straight-ahead jazz work established him as a versatile and articulate player. His crossover projects, including the notorious Screaming Headless Torsos and Black Cherry Acid Lab,integrated improvisation with a rock/funk feel.
On Jazz Punk, Fuze plays standards. But not the way you'd expect. Here's the concept: tunes from Frederic Chopin, Pat Metheny, Jimi Hendrix, Shannon Jackson, and John Phillip Sousa, to name a few, are twisted, contorted, and stretched into unrecognizable reinterpretations. Fuze plays with three different bands, adding even more of a sense of open-endedness. One band is essentially the core of the Screaming Headless Torsos: a deep-groove funk quartet. The second band is new to these ears: a trio featuring the multi-talented drumming of Zach Danziger, who demonstrates his proficiency in the drum-n-bass idiom on Metheny's "Bright Size Life." It's quite refreshing to hear a live drummer work with a style born in electronica. Finally, the third group contains Fuze's long-time collaborator Santi Debriano on acoustic bass (!) and the more straight-ahead drummer Billy Hart. This group lays down a more jazzy sound.
Like any of Fuze's projects, Jazz Punk displays refreshing openmindedness. Due to the variety of the program, it's a bit hit-or-miss... but mostly hit. Regardless, you have to admire his audacity for arranging a Chopin Prelude for guitar and drums. This is the kind of boldness that forces an artist to self-release his record instead of putting it out on a major label. Jazz Punk is available from David Fiuczynski on the web.
Track Listing: Bright Size Life; Third Stone From the Sun; Prelude Opus 28 No. 4; Red Warrior; African Game Fragment; La
Fiesta; Star Crossed Lovers; Jungle Gym Jam; Stars and Stripes Whenever; Hipgnosis.
Personnel: David Fiuczynski, guitar; Fima Ephron, bass; Daniel Sadownick, percussion; Gene Lake, drums; Tim LeFebvre,
bass; Zach Danziger, drums; Rufus Cappandocia, cello; Santi Debriano, bass; Billy Hart, drums.