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
Nick Hudson. The Progressive Aspect
Giorgi Mikadze tells a lot about himself in his first record as a leader. He shows us his mastery a lot of complex music forms and he’s very proud of where he’s from. Quite honestly, he’s got plenty to be proud of.
S.Victor Aaron Something Else Review
The result was that Georgian culture in particular remained virtually unknown outside its own territory, a rich tradition of polyphony that was thriving when Palestrina and Bach were still basically going da-da-da-dum. Classically trained in his native Tbilisi, Giorgi Mikadze began to develop his own synthesis of native Georgian music and microtonal jazz.
Brian Morton. Jazz Journal
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.
Mikadze manages to make excellent use of the style and fits it into the microtonal electric fusion complex he so nicely fashions with his band is rather amazing .Georgian Microjamz has it all--innovative ways, true artistry, compositional clout and a convincing amalgamation of styles into an exceptional whole.
Grego Applegate Edwards
Inhaltlich ist das Album “Georgian Micro Jamz” klassisch aufgebaut. Mit Ausnahme des letzten Liedes ‘Tseruli’ wird jede einzelne Nummer durch eine Interlude eingeleitet. Ähnlich wie Mussorgski nimmt Mikadze sein Publikum bei der Hand und führt es durch ein abwechslungsreiches Programm. Die Bilder, die der Künstler dabei erzeugt. reichen vom Adschariengebirge bis zum schwarzen Meer und vom Kirchengesang bis zum Groove Westafrikas. “Georgian Micro Jamz” ist nicht nur eine gelungene Vermengung einander fremder musikalischer Traditionen, das Album ist auch eine intonierte Liebeserklärung an ein Land, das vor kultureller Vielfältigkeit nur so strotzt.
LE JAZZ A SA TRIBUNE
Огромная любовь и уважение к фольклорным традициям родины, гордость за древнюю культуру своей страны в сочетании с самыми современными музыкальными тенденциями привели Гиорги к такому необычному, яркому и интересному фонографическому дебюту, как альбом Georgian Microjamz
Nel variegato universo degli eccentrici della musica, c’è anche chi non si accontenta dei tradizionali metodi di notazione diffusi nell’occidente del mondo, e va alla ricerca dei microtoni, intervalli più brevi dei 12 toni e semitoni che costituiscono la base del sistema di scrittura e lettura musicale basato sull’ottava, per cercare, come diceva il compositore americano Charles Ives, le “fessure tra i tasti del pianoforte“. Uno fra questi è