Rob Edgar writes:
We have a two-part interview recorded (now in the editing process) with guitarist Dave Fiuczynski, recorded ahead of his début appearance at Ronnie Scott’s with Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Gamak later that day, which I attended.
Compositionally, Mahanthappa is interesting: in the opening piece Waiting is Forbidden, blocks of repeated semitonal riffs played by Rudresh were underpinned by heavily syncopated guitar riffs from Fuze, bassist François Moutin’s piston-like speed and superhuman precision was intriguing as was drummer Dan Weiss’ rigorous drumming.
The group seemed to be split into two halves; the interplay between Mahanthappa and Fiuczynski was evident when they Fuze mimicked Mahanthappa’s tone using his the fretless neck of his double-necked guitar, and Weiss and Moutin played off each other expertly. The most striking moment of that gig came when the band performed a live ‘fade-out’, leaving just Fiuczynski playing his electric guitar with the volume at zero. The audience at Ronnie’s were so enthralled/quiet that you could hear every note coming from the stage.
The interview which we will publish is in two parts: some introductory questions and answers with Sebastian – we sense that there is a musician buzz about this music but that it will also be unfamiliar to many – followed by a conversation about specific compositions with London-based guitarist/composer Ant Law (PARENTAL ADVISORY: will contain microtones).
The Ronnie Scott’s gig was recorded by Jazz on 3 for transmission on September 23rd.
Throughout the gig I was reminded of the two Colemans: some of Rudresh Mahanthappa's compositions had the repetitive simplicity of Ornette, while his fast legato playing recalled Steve. That said, his overall approach is refreshing, and miles away from other jazz/Indian fusions.
Although this was Mahanthappa'a debut at Ronnie's, it was not “Fuze”'s….he played (and recorded) at the club with George Russell's predominantly British orchestra in 1989.