David “Fuze” Fiuczynski :
Innovative guitarist who has performed and recorded with a variety of jazz and pop artists, while also leading his own band Screaming Headless Torsos.
My experience with Hendrix is a little bit different than most players. When I started guitar at age 13 [in 1977], I was a jazz head and I didn’t want anything to do with rock music at all. Then two or three years later, when I happily matured a little bit and realized that there’s more than just jazz out there, I really made a point to avoid Hendrix because I saw how easily people got sucked into his thing and they lost their own identity. So my first experience with Hendrix was actually one of trying to run away from him. I just remember thinking that Hendrix was dangerous.
Then in college, around ’83, I started checking him out. I think it was “Manic Depression” that first grabbed me. That’s really one of the first real heavy-metal bebop tunes. I mean, if you listen to the drums, Mitch Mitchell is playing straightahead. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I got drawn to it, because it had that jazz thing going on in there. Actually by then I was into hard rock and punk and also fusion, but I started to listen to Hendrix a bit. I actually had to learn a lot of his tunes for gigs—the Black Rock Coalition did Hendrix tributes and actually Me’Shell NdegéOcello was thinking about doing a Hendrix tribute album—and people would give me tapes to listen to which were basically best-of compilations, so I never really associated the individual tunes with albums. I just took them all in at the same time and started to learn them. And as I studied these tunes, I realized that I already had gotten a lot of him indirectly through other guitar players. You know, the wah-wah skronks, the whammy bar stuff that I got from other people. It was a revelation, like, “Oh! So this is where they got this from.” You know, Steve Vai’s wah-wah thing and his octave thing and Hiram Bullock had a certain thing that I thought was really individual, which I later found out he got from Hendrix. And that’s happened with probably 10, 15 guitar players that I’ve really checked out personally. They all borrowed from Jimi. So while I tried to avoid him I realized later when I came back that I wasn’t avoiding him at all because it was just impossible. His influence was just too pervasive.
I’ve covered a few of Jimi’s tunes over the years, including an unreleased Torsos version of “Little Wing,” which I’m proud to say doesn’t fall into wedding band/”Misty” mode. I also covered “Third Stone From the Sun” on Jazz Punk. That was my own personal homage to him. It’s an attempt at trying to look at maybe the way that Hendrix might’ve done something if he were still alive. It’s got a Middle Eastern vibe to it, which is something I picked up from being in Morocco in 1992 for a gig I played with this Moroccan contingent. We rehearsed for 10 days in Marrakech in preparation for the World’s Fair in Seville, Spain, and all the Moroccan cats came up to me and said, “Yeah, Hendrix was here, Hendrix was here!” Apparently, he spent a lot of his leisure time there during the ’60s. And that sowed the seed of like, “Hmmm, what would’ve Hendrix done with this Middle Eastern stuff?” So this version is a little bit of an attempt of trying to figure that out.
Calling him a jazz musician is, to me, a little bit restrictive because the cat is also an unbelievable poet. That’s another thing of how he just sets himself apart from other guitar players. And even if he never soloed, some of his heaviest guitar shit is his comping. There’s a lot of cats who get beyond the notes, who transcend their instruments when they’re playing but the way he did it was really earthy. You got some people—they’re really heady, it’s a cerebral thing. But Jimi had that mind-body-spirit type thing going on—the lush written images that were mirrored with the lush soundscapes. He had like that double whammy. This cat just had so many different ways of grabbing you—wild solos, incredible orchestration, unbelievable lyrics—and then you get them all together with phat grooves and showmanship. It’s like a Stravinsky ballet. You have the music, you have the costumes, you have the choreography and the stage design. You have more than one thing going on. Written, verbal, aural and visual, just the full-on total package.
Source : http://jazztimes.com/articles/20150-jimi-hendrix-modern-jazz-axis