The folk music of Georgia is one of the earliest and richest polyphonic traditions in the world, despite being little known to the rest of the modern world. Combining a sense of national pride, musical invention and exploratory spirit, pianist/composer & arranger Giorgi Mikadze has created a striking new hybrid of traditional Georgian folk music and progressive microtonal jazz on his breathtaking debut album, Georgian Microjamz.
Georgian Microjamz discovers unexpected common ground between the ancient traditions of Mikadze’s native Georgia, where the Orthodox Christian church featured only vocal music in its services, and the very modern microtonal innovations of guitar great David “Fuze” Fiuczynski, with whom the keyboardist studied while at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.
Fiuczynski joins Mikadze to breathe life into this alien-sounding fusion, along with Greek-born bassist Panagiotis Andreou (Now vs. Now, Mulatu Astatke) and drummer Sean Wright (Musiq Soulchild, Taeyang). On three tracks the quartet is supplemented by the stunning vocals of Georgian choir Ensemble Basiani, while singer and ethnomusicologist Nana Valishvili adds a heart-wrenching vocal performance to Moaning, a powerful ode to the victims of the 2008 military conflict between Russia and Georgia.
David Fiuczynski - Fretted and Fretless Guitars
Guitar shredder, maestro, researcher, composer
and winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Panagiotis Andreou - Fretless Bass Guitar
Grammy Nominated Greek-born bass player ,
NOW VS. NOW, New York Gypsy All Stars,
Gonzalo Grau Y la Clave Secreta
Sean Wright - Drums
Big Sean, Neyo, Musiq Soulchild, Big Bang,
Taeyang (from Big Bang)
THE P R E S S
Deeply cerebral but rife with passion, a tangible momentum develops over the course of this album's approximately fifty-five minutes playing time, even with (or perhaps precisely because of vocal interludes like "Moaning"). In this inexorable pursuit of elusive sound(s), Microtonal keyboardist Mikadze could not enlist a more capable or like-minded compatriot that guitarist David Fiuczynski.
Doug Collette. All About Jazz
Through the use of microtonal music, Mikadze finds a way to replicate the fluidity and power of the voice in instrumental music, while allowing him to incorporate a wealth of other influences, from rock to fusion to music from other regions of the planet whose traditions echo or intersect with Georgia's. In Mikadze's inventive vision, the music leaps effortlessly but intriguingly between time periods, styles and cultures in a constantly surprising hybrid.