Any musiclover who enjoys the sensation of immersion in a maelstrom of sound will no doubt relish Mikrojazz, especially those familiar with the work of guitarist Dave Fiuczynski
. But even listeners who fear the abstract somewhat should find much to savor here because this five-piece band, including 'The Fuze" and co-led with Philipp Gershlauer, moves in and out of such realms throughout a dozen tracks.
Every group of musicians requires a catalyst in order to function with the unity of a genuine band and here that role falls to veteran percussionist Jack DeJohnette
. Yet the former sideman of Miles Davis
and John Scofield
and helmsman of so many of his own projects, fulfills the task and all its responsibilities with aplomb, without ever calling attention to himself : as on "November," he is felt rather than heard, the pulse of his drums providing gravity and stability as the other four musicians venture in and out of ambient melody and rhythm.
Falling just past mid-point, this seventh cut appears to introduce a more accessible set of numbers. Mikrojazz wends its way to a close with "Walking Not Flying" and "Zirkus Macabre," which, contrary to its cryptic title, has a gentle and comforting air with which to leave listeners calmed after the storm of sounds preceding on earlier numbers. This sequence of cuts unfolds in such a way the progression invites paying attention rather than relegate the music to background
A most appropriately named "Lullaby Nightmare" finds Fiuczynski's guitar and Philipp Gerschauer's saxophone, not to mention bassist Matt Garrison
's fretless instrument, all buzzing around each other like bees; moving at such a frenetic pace, it's altogether remarkable Giorgi Mikadze
's microtonal keyboards find any room to move, yet they do, as on the tongue-in-cheek titled "MicroOY Tyner:" the angular approach taken in creating sounds here may render the uninitiated fully alienated at worst or laughably bemused at best by this.
For any musiclovers, it may be well to grasp the thought this quintet is simply exploring those notes between those struck in more conventional music. There is indeed a logic to Mikrojazz, just one of an unusual sort that, executed as briskly as it is here by Dave Fiuczynski and co., should compel some further exploration beyond just this single record, as provocative and inviting as it is.
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.
Philipp Gerschlauer: alto saxophone; David Fiuczynski: fretted and fretless guitars; Jack DeJohnette: drums; Matt Garrison: fretless bass; Giorgi Mikadze: microtonal keyboards.