Intense simmering turmoil revealing (the) uncanny ability. of this contemporary guitar giant" --Jazz Times
The mantra for guitarist Dave Fuze" Fiuczynski's KiF project is Eastern Exotica, Western Exstatica". This east-meets-west vibe is the driving force that permeates the music of their latest release KiF Express. Throughout the 11-song affair Fuze shreds on his arsenal custom-built double-necked guitars in a variety of eastern modes and microtonal scales. Songs like Phoenix Rising" blend dark Arabian tones with a funky rhythm section. The solo on Habibi Bounce" showcases the uniquely smooth and lyrical sound that only a fretless guitar can generate. At times it's easy to forget that he's even playing guitar as he sends his tone into regions seldom encountered in the realm of fusion. The album as a whole is testament to the fact that when it comes to screaming chaotic guitar licks laid down over diabolically syncopated grooves or quiet meditations over chill jamz, Fuze is in a class all his own.
When writing about a musician such as Fiucynski it's easy to get lost in the details. He's played on more than 95 studio albums and is the founding member of the critically acclaimed Screaming Headless Torsos. He's also a professor at Berklee College of Music. And who could forget that he's shared the stage with some of the biggest names in jazz and pop like Jack DeJohnette, Stewart Copeland, Me'Shell NdegOcello, Kenny Garrett, John Medeski, and Dennis Chambers just to name a few. But amid all the details that make up his seemingly endless resume, it's important to remember that it's his unconventional approach to making music that has allowed him to come so far.
Fuze's masterful guitar explorations wouldn't be possible without his powerful backing band. Bassist Steve Jenkins (Eric Krasno (Soulive), Hiromi, Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter) combines jazzy chromaticism with funk-inspired grooves. Drummer Skoota Warner (Mary J Blige, Omar Hakim, Big Daddy Kane) lays down heavy beats that draw influences ranging from Drum & Bass to Swing. The core group is also assisted by a lineup of guest musicians that includes Mike Rivard (Upright Bass), Daniel Sadownick (Percussion), Bertam Lehman (drums), Jim Funnel (Keyboards), Nikolay Moiseenko (Alto Sax) and Geni Skendo (Shakuhachi). When this diverse array of players combines their efforts the sonic mayhem that ensues is at once unsettling and inspiring.