Screaming Headless Torsos (Minus the Screaming)

Jovol "Bam Bam" Bell, David Fiuczynski, Dan Kinney and Evan Merian

Left to right: Jovol "Bam Bam" Bell, David Fiuczynski, Dan Kinney and Evan Merian

On Saturday May 16, KDHX had the pleasure of welcoming to the Magnolia Studios a true guitar virtuoso: David Fiuczynski. Now David may not be a household name to most, but on the underground jazz punk scene he is a legend. The driving force behind the Screaming Headless Torsos, an experimental-free-jazz-punk ensemble from the mid ’90s, “Fuze” has paved the way for spoken-word heavy music. But a different faction (more like the Headless Torsos) visited us on this day.

David is touring behind his newest release, KiF Express, and brought in a trio consisting of Jovol “Bam Bam” Bell on drums and Evan Merian on bass. Both members of the rhythm section are recent grads of the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where David is a professor in the Guitar and Ensemble department. Expectations were very high. They did not disappoint! Jovol made the house kit from the station sound as if it were a custom-made Yamaha or the likes of some big name kit. Using an interesting array of modified cymbals on the heads to create a metallic sound, he caressed the skins in a blaze of fire and sensitivity that was amazing to behold. The crystal-clear, precision bass lines of Merian also made for a lively performance.

All three musicians are among the nicest people anyone could ask to meet. So humble, yet displaying all those monster chops, it’s amazing they even took the time to stop by. It took several hours after the session to finally get the tunes out of my head.

Unfortunately, I had to cover the Grateful Dead Hour, so I was only able to catch the last song of their Gramophone show on May 16. But given the sight of a nearly packed room of sweaty people, I imagine they rocked the house. Speaking with the band afterwards, I learned that they’ll be back later in the summer to bring their unique blend of heavy jazz to the masses. Many thanks to David for taking the time to stop by and share his amazing chops with us. I can’t wait for his return.

Check out the entire live performance late tonight (technically Wednesday morning, 3:45 am CST) on 88.1 FM KDHX’s The Smoking Lounge, listen to the show live on the web, or visit to stream the session after it airs.

And enjoy this sneak preview mp3 of tonight’s exclusive, in-studio performance. Let me know what you think!

“Shiraz” by Screaming Headless Torsos, Live at KDHX:

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  • Kate


    Great, informative post about their visit to KDHX!

    Also, I heard you subbing for Grateful Dead and sounded good.

    :) Kate

  • strix

    Great as always !! how could someone purchase this performance ?

  • Roy Kasten

    Not available for purchase, but you may stream the whole session anytime here:

  • strix

    ok,thank you