Philipp Gerschlauer, David Fiuczynski

(wlth Matt Garrison, Giorgi Mikadze and Jack DeJohnette)

On Mikrojazz, their cutting edge joint project for RareNoise , German saxophonist Philipp Gerschlauer and guitarist David Fiuczynski explore the world of music that falls between the cracks of the tempered scale. Joined by jazz drumming legend Jack DeJohnette, fretless electric bassist Matt Garrison and microtonal keyboardist Giorgi Mikadze, this daring crew creates dreamy, otherworldly soundscapes on tunes by Gerschlauer like aptly-titled Hangover and LaMonte’s Gamelan Jam along with a swinging microtonal tune Mikro Steps and other originals like Fiuczynski’s MiCroY TynerZirkus Macabre and Lullaby Nightmare.

Fiuczynski, who heads up the Planet MicroJam Institute at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, previously released two microtonal recordings on RareNoise — 2012’s Planet MicroJam, which opened a Pandora’s Box on non-Western tuning, and 2016’s Flam! Blam! Pan-Asian MicroJam!, which was jointly dedicated to 20th century classical composer Olivier Messiaen and innovative hip-hop record producer JDilla.

Gerschlauer, who was inspired by French composer Gérard Grisey and Paul Desmond had been independently exploring the world of microtonal music in Berlin and New York before developing a method of dividing an octave (12 notes in equal temperament) into 128 notes on the alto saxophone.

Kindred spirits Fiuczynski and Gerschlauer dive headlong into the microtonal pool on Mikrojazz and are ably supported in their explorations by the empathetic crew of DeJohnetteGarrison and Mikadze. As an added visual treat, each piece on Mikrojazz, which is subtitled Neue Expressionistische Musik, meaning ‘new expressionist music’, is paired with expressionist paintings by the likes of Georg GroszEmil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig KirchnerAugust MackeEgon Schiele, Max BeckmannOtto DixJean Michel Basquiat and more.