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

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Herbe Rouge - Herbe Rouge – This progressive group is of the sort that could only come from France in the 70s where a distinctive and idiosyncratic form of weirdness flourished. Like many of their progressive compatriots, Herbe...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues