David ‘Fuze’ Fuiczynski aims to be ‘the Gauguin of Fusion’, but if he really was painting this would be several manic Jackson Pollocks superimposed on top of each other. Combining abstract jazz, microtonality, ethnic folk grooves and countless other elements – or rather throwing them all into a pot, stirring like crazy and seeing what survives – Planet MicroJam is an extraordinary record.
A director at the Berklee College Of Music, its creator (who’s played with Meshell Ndegeocello and Ronald Shannon Jackson) claims to be looking for a mix of Eastern and Western colours, from Arabic prayer to American Delta blues.
The primary player is his fretless electric guitar, which makes initially disorientating, ultimately attractive noises throughout. These range from slides Steve Howe might have made during an especially challenging Yes album, to those of a drunken Hawaiian wedding singer.
Fiuczynski works with current and former students from his program: this is his eighth album as ensemble leader, and his most provocative yet. ‘Microtonal’ sort of means ‘deliberately out of tune’: it may well alienate some, but it’ll blow the minds of others.