How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Electric guitarist David Fiuczynski a.k.a. “Fuze” takes his unique stylistic approach into the next—dare we say millennium?—along with enviable and easily identifiable chops on Jazz Punk. Here, Fuze, along with drummer Zach Danziger and bassist Tim Lefebvre, perform a meltdown version of Pat Metheny’s memorable composition titled “Bright Size Life,” which is the title of the album that launched Metheny onto the jazz scene back in the ‘70s. On this piece Fuze’s trademark style comes to the forefront, as the guitarist fades, bends and stretches notes to the hilt while emitting a seemingly elastic or liquefied sound intermingled with devious crunch chords and chilling EFX. On Hendrix’ “Third Stone From The Sun,” Fuze is supported by drummer Gene Lake and bassist Fima Ephron as the guitarist pursues psychedelic distortions with stunning lead soloing and charging rhythms while the overall proceedings seamlessly and justifiably heat to a rapid boil! And for the techies out there, Fuze also performs on a fretless electric guitar, which seems somewhat unimaginable to this writer!
Fuze maniacally tackles Chopin on “Prelude Opus 28 No. 4” followed by a piece originally composed by Fiuczynski’s ex-employer, drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson, titled “Red Warrior,” which was an album the drummer recorded several years ago while boasting a three – lead – guitar attack. Here, the band go full steam as Fuze turns in some turbo charged, lightning fast leads, tasty harmonics, chunk chords and howling distortion atop the straight four rhythms. Other highlights are his hybrid-jazz/rock approach to Chick Corea’s lovely “La Fiesta,” featuring furious Latin percussion by Daniel Sadownick and precise rapid movement as the guitarist soars into the ozone. Trumpeter Jack Walrath’s composition “Hipgnosis” is given the hard-core rock heterogeneous free-jazz treatment as this piece closes out the affair in impacting fashion!
It may be of no surprise that David Fiuczynski has become one of the most sought after session guitarists in music other than his Headless Torsos band and his ongoing work with the witty and engaging NYC “Downtown” band Hasidic New Wave. Awesome technique coupled with a sharp clear-sighted vision sets Fuze apart from many others as Jazz Punk is raucous, raw, distinctly personalized, hyper, vivacious, loud and loads of fun! Here, Fiuczynski once again establishes himself as a guitarist for the ages, and one of a select few who are redefining the overall scope or capabilities of the electric guitar, yet for this musician it all seems so genuine and effortless. Recommended....* * * * 1/2