Tuesday, April 26, 2016

David Fiuczynski, Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian MicroJam!

The moment you put Flam! Blam! (RareNoise RNR 062 CD or LP) on you know that you are in for something different. It's David Fiuczynski on fretless and fretted electric guitars, along with a somewhat sizable and unique sonic ensemble that includes Helen Sherrah-Davies on violin (for most of the album), Yazhi Guo on suona (oboe) and Chinese percussion, Utar Artun and Jake Sherman on microtonal keys and conventionally tuned keys, Justin Schornstein on fretless electric bass, Alex "BisQuiT" Bailey on drums and percussion, and for three numbers Rudresh Mahanthappa on alto.

The album is a homage to JDilla and Olivier Messiaen. I do not know JDilla but the Messiaen influence can be heard in the use of bird song as a melodic foundation, though they do it in different and intriguing ways.

The microtonal possibilities coming from fretless guitar, bass and microtonal keys--and also from oboe and violin--give this music a special shimmer. There is also a Chinese and overall Asian (e.g., gamelan, gagaku?) cast to the music.

Put all of that together in the special way they do and you get some of the most interesting and pathbreaking music I've heard so far this year. Fiuczynski's guitar work is remarkable, especially on the fretless, but then everybody makes important contributions in realizing the compositions and in adding improvisational/free touches. This is music that on the surface has a sort of jazz-rock inflection, yet what is added to it puts it in uncharted territory.

I've never heard anything like this before!! It is a startling disk of music that is moving into wonderfully avant, uncharted avant territory.

You must not miss this if you want to keep ahead of it all! Remarkable!

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