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Album Review

Fans of the Screaming Headless Torsos' unique brand of avant-gardist funk-jazz-rock fusion had very little to chew. Apart from the group's 1995 debut CD, the only document was a high-priced rare Japanese import. Guitarist David "Fuze" Fiuczynski bought back the rights to the tapes, had them fantastically remastered, and reissued them on his own U.S.-based label, Fuzelicious Morsels, as Live. Culled from two shows at the Knitting Factory in September 1996, this CD features the same lineup as on the studio album from the previous year and most of its songs too. The renditions of "Smile in a Wave," "Vinnie," the chilling "Kermes Macabre," and the funked-up "Word to Herb" show how much liberty Fuze could take with his guitar solos — mostly atonal and completely out there. "Word to Herb" especially transcends its original version, thanks to incredible amounts of energy from all musicians. But as good these tracks are, the fans will want this CD for the four songs that did not appear on the studio album. "Just for Now" opens the proceedings with a great discharge of jazz-funk, a typical Torsos track. "Darryl Dawkins' Sound of Love" casts singer Dean Bowman as a Barry White-like crooner to great effect. The Beatles' "Dig a Pony" gets a treatment similar (but not quite as exciting) as Miles Davis' "Blue in Green." Sound quality has been enhanced, putting the listener in the front row to (re)live the galvanizing experience that was a Torsos show. Begin with the studio CD (reissued at the same time under the title 1995), just so you start at the same point as everyone else. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Live!!, Screaming Headless Torsos
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