Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


Philipp Gerschlauer/David Fiuczynski: Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
If you've followed guitarist David Fiuczynski's work in recent years, then you should already know that he's continually intensifying his search for what exists in the spaces between the spaces. While Fuze has always registered as something of a non-conformist, he's now completely shed a layer of skin and left conventional Western musical tuning behind, evolving into a microtonal guru working with a uniquely non-patternistic patois.

Through his teaching at Berklee, and with albums like Planet MicroJam (RareNoise, 2012) and Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian MicroJam! (RareNoise, 2016), Fiuczynski has managed to carve out his own niche in the world of microtonal avant-jazz. MikroJazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik is simply the latest and the greatest piece of evidence to make that case. In teaming up with kindred spirit Philipp Gerschlauer, a saxophonist who's been making parallel explorations and discoveries over the past decade, Fiuczynski has found his wonderfully warped match. And once you add microtonal keyboard ace Giorgi Mikadze, fretless bazz wizard Matt Garrison, and drum titan Jack DeJohnette to the equation, the already-expansive realm of possibility here becomes ever wider.

While it may take many an ear a little while to acclimate to the microtonal climate, it proves to be a hospitable one once that period of adjustment is complete. The swinging "MikroSteps," hallucinogenic "Für Mary Wigman," and aggressive-cum-devious "November" all come to feel like a new normal after some time spent with this record. What once seemed warped, now feels fine.

Most of these pieces fall far left of jazz center no matter the metric used to measure them, but this remains music that can be both admired and enjoyed. "MiCrOY Tyner," for example, manages to pull McCoy Tyner's attitude and firm-handed aesthetic into a new and appealing zone. Just don't be fooled into thinking anything here is about bowing to jazz totems. This band really has its own thing happening on songs like "Hangover," capturing the cloud of the post-drunken headache; "LaMonte's Gamelan Jam," speaking in pseudo-Asiatic tones and meditative thoughts before partly crystallizing into a grooving expedition; and "Sofia Im Türkischen Café," a spellbinding, garnet-colored ballad of disorienting dimensions.

As odd as it might sound, getting lost in this music is the easiest way to truly find your way. This intrepid quintet has fashioned a world and sound all its own, leveraging a vocabulary that moves beyond most borders and twisting it to its own advantage and design. There's intelligence, humor, intensity, thoughtfulness, and risk behind the music to be found on Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Music.

Track Listing: MikroSteps; Für Mary Wigman; Lullaby Nightmare; MiCrOY Tyner; Umarmung; Last CHance; November; Hangover; LaMonte's Gamelan Jam; Walking Not Flying; Sofia Im Türkischen Café; Zirkus Macabre.

Personnel: Philipp Gerschlauer: alto saxophone; David Fiuczynski: fretted and fretless guitars; Jack DeJohnette: drums; Matt Garrison: fretless bass; Giorgi Mikadze: microtonal keyboards.

Title: Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: RareNoiseRecords


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Bleak House" CD/LP/Track Review Bleak House
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Introducing...Rubén González" CD/LP/Track Review Introducing...Rubén González
by James Nadal
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)" CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Towards Language" CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Embodied Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Embodied Hope
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 6, 2017
Read "The Django Experiment I & II" CD/LP/Track Review The Django Experiment I & II
by Peter Jurew
Published: April 2, 2017