Since I knew so many great musicians in NYC, I thought that it would be a good idea to interview them for posterity. I had harbored fantasies of be a TV producer since childhood. The idea was to create Jazz content for the Jazz musician first and the jazz fan second. I wanted to find out what made these musicians become great, how they thought about music, what shaped their musical development, what they were currently working on improving in their playing, what their general worldviews were, how they practiced, what peers had influenced them, what art forms other than music had influenced them, and how they were dealing with the business side of music. I was sick of the usual shallow Jazz journalism and I thought I could do better since I was also in the musical trenches. In the summer of 1999 a friend of mine named Scott Marshal, who had been working as a cameraman for Fox and MTV, and I started shooting episodes of 'Inner Jazz' at musician's apartments, lofts, and rehearsal studios. Some of these shoots were performances, some were instructional, and some were interviews. I had known (and played with) most of these musicians for many years so I already had quite a bit of insight into their playing .
I soon learned that shooting is the easy part but editing is the part that really takes time. Once I moved to Portland, Oregon I got myself trained in all aspects of television production at PCM, the local cable access TV station (one of the best in the nation). Since then I have been involved in producing over fifty television programs. These have been mostly music, but also some politics, community education, spirituality, and cooking. Five years after starting to shoot in NYC my vision of making these programs available over the internet is finally coming to fruition. The first program in my series called 'Inner Jazz' features NYC guitar pioneer David 'Fuze' Fiuczynski. 'Fuze' is one of the most interesting and talented musicians working today.
When I first met David he lived with my buddy Kenny Brooks and was studying at New England Conservatory as a 'Third Stream' major. He lived in a small and very dark room at the bottom of an airshaft. He slept on a mattress on the floor, had only a picture of Dolphy (he was an Eric Dolphy fanatic) on his wall and spent every free second practicing. David is half African-American and half German and I think he never really identified with either culture completely. He had no loyalties to any particular culture and this also effected his musical tastes as well. Everything was fair game. Anything and everything could be mixed and matched to suit his musical taste. (He did tell me that this was the case, so I'm not just speculating here) Coming from a bi-racial background myself I can understand this way of thinking. Fuze's musical projects are the result of exactly this sycretic mode of working. His 'Screaming Headless Torsos' group was conceived as operatic vocals combined with hard rock/funk, his trio 'Kif' is middle-eastern-exotica-western-exstatica, 'Black Cherry Acid Lab' is punk-funk-house-rap, 'JazzPunk' is a hardcore Jazz standard project. He is also a member of 'Hassidic New Wave' a hard-core Hassidic band. Fuze is a truly prolific musician, he is always inventing a new style of music. He also happens to be a bad-ass straight-ahead Jazz musician, touring with Kenny Garrett and Jim Beard.
In the first episode of Inner Jazz Fuze talks about his involvement with micro-tonal music, demonstrates his custom built guitars, explains how he practices, talks about his most influential teachers, comments on the direction the music industry is going and what he is doing to counter it, shares who among his peers he finds interesting, talks about his interest in art and philosophy, plays some Dolphy solos, and more. These are some excepts from the full one hour show of 'Inner Jazz- episode one'. If you are interested in ordering a DVD of the entire show please email me at- firstname.lastname@example.org