Exposé Online banner

Philipp Gerschlauer / David Fiuczynski — Mikrojazz! - Neue Expressionistische Musik
(RareNoise RNR083, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-10-28

Mikrojazz! - Neue Expressionistische Musik Cover art

Last year saw the release of David Fiuczynski’s second album of microtonal jazz with global influences and collaborators. Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian MicroJam! was both a fascinating exercise and a musical success, and with MikroJazz! he presents another installment of the use of microtonal scales in jazz. This time out, his primary collaborator is German saxophonist Philipp Gerschlauer, who has developed techniques for playing microtones on his instruments. The rest of the ensemble consists of Matt Garrison (fretless bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), and Giorgi Mikadze (microtonal keyboards). This album lacks the “Pan-Asian” flavor of its predecessor, opting instead for something closer to standard jazz instrumentation, though of course the microtonal melodies give it a flavor that is sometimes quite distinctive. Three of the tonal instruments here (saxophone, guitar, and fretless bass) are capable of minute variations in pitch outside the even-tempered scale, and we’ve all heard them do so in improvised solos — even a fretted guitar can bend strings to intervals off the even-tempered scale. But hearing them do so as deliberate parts of the main melodies is unusual, and would probably just sound like out-of-tune playing if it weren’t done so consistently and by multiple instruments in unison. The other distinctive factor here is Mikadze’s keyboards, which sometimes sound very different from normal instruments. He also makes extensive use of the pitch-bend wheel on his synth, which is not something you expect to hear on an electric piano sound. I suppose some listeners might be put off, unable to adjust to the different pitches, but most of the time, I find it refreshing. It’s kind of like encountering a completely new flavor in food, say the numbing taste of Sichuan peppers, and being put off by it at first, then coming to love it. I’m not sure I want it in every dish, but it is wonderful once you’re accustomed to it.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Jack DeJohnette, David Fiuczynski, Philipp Gerschlauer

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Faust - BBC Sessions+ – The “BBC” part of Sessions + is a twenty minute piece named simply for its date of broadcast: “BBC 1.3.73.” The first section of this track (“The Lurcher”) is a bass and drum groove with a...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues