173

Screaming Headless Torsos: Live!

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Screaming Headless Torsos: Live! In September of 1996, the Screaming Headless Torsos went live for the mikes at the Knitting Factory in New York. For any critics who claimed their prior studio effort was staged or polished, Live! set the record straight: the Torsos wield just as much raw energy and electicism on stage as they do in the studio. The original document of this adventure first appeared on the Japanese Videoarts label; but now guitarist David "Fuze" Fiuczynski has claimed it for his own, putting out a remastered version on Fuzelicious Morsels.

The Screaming Headless Torsos offer a tossed salad of styles, generally edging around the interface between funk, jazz, and energy music. For example, on "Smile in a Wave," they quote a rapid, stuttering theme from Miles Davis's Jack Johnson before tearing off into pounding thrash funk. Fuze's guitar work here is spectacular—it's the kind of virtuosity that serves a higher purpose far beyond the masturbatory self-congratulation of so many fusion guitarists. Whether working in the background or the foreground, Fuze is pure diesel fuel. The Torsos engine also owes much to the precision and cohesion of its other four members. Daniel Sadownick in particular shines on percussion, employing a wide-ranging palette of colors and sticking close to drummer Gene Lake's precise hits.

For the most part, the tunes on this record remain faithful to originals on the Torsos' debut. Launching into Blood Ulmer's "Jazz is the Teacher" on track three, the Torsos concoct a hybrid of jazz and funk that burns furiously forward. This is energy music. But one tune later, they retire to lighter, more lyrical territory on "Blue In Green." Not much predictability on Live! (A Darryl Dawkins tribute, for example... ???) But the band remains solid. These performances tend to aim more for thrash than funk, resuulting in regular explosive outbursts. Dean Bowman's hoarse screaming does get a bit annoying after a while, but that's a minor blemish on an otherwise fine record. The Screaming Headless Torsos opened a new chapter for fusion in the mid-'90s, and they continue to expand their vision as we speak. "Live!" is a revealing document of a project in progress.

Visit David Fiuczynski on the web.


Track Listing: Just for Now; Smile in a Wave; Jazz is the Teacher; Blue in Green; Word to Herb; Hope; Vinnie; Darryl Dawkins' Sound of Love; Kermes Macabre; Dig a Pony.

Personnel: Dean Bowman: vocals; David "Fuze" Fiuczynski: guitars; Daniel Sadownick: percussion; Fima Ephron: bass; Gene Lake: drums.

Title: Live! | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: FuzeLicious Morsels


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Moments Of Fatherhood" CD/LP/Track Review Moments Of Fatherhood
by John Sharpe
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Kill Together" CD/LP/Track Review Kill Together
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Touch My Beloved's Thought" CD/LP/Track Review Touch My Beloved's Thought
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 7, 2016
Read "The Best of Bossacucanova" CD/LP/Track Review The Best of Bossacucanova
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.