“Improvising musicians all pay lip service to the idea of working without a net, but most end up building safety precautionsno matter how slight or subtle they may beinto their work. Dom Minasi, however, isn't one of those musicians. The indefatigable guitarist has no interest in sonic safeguards or insurance. He's a law unto himself, creating music that speaks to his intelligence, fearlessness, and mischievous nature. And while Minasi has been at it for half a century, he shows no sign of slowing down or taking an easy road. Minasi is one of the great creative guitar artists operating today”.
Dan Bilawsky from All About Jazz.
Dom Minasi has been playing guitar for over 50 years. He became a professional musician playing jazz when he was 15 years old. In 1962 he started teaching and working as a fulltime musician.
In 1974, he was signed to Blue Note Records. After two albums he left the recording business and did not record again as a leader till 1999 for CIMP records. Between those years he made his living composing, authoring three books on harmony and improvisation, teaching and arranging. During the late seventies he did have an opportunity to work and perform with a whole slew of jazz giants including Arnie Lawrence, George Coleman, Frank Foster, Jimmy Heath and Dave Brubeck.
After working with and being inspired by Roger Kellaway in ‘74, Dom began seriously composing in all genres’, including songwriting (both music & lyrics) jazz tunes and serious long hair contemporary pieces. He was the major composer for M.I.C.E. (Manhattan Improvisational Chamber Ensemble) which specialized in through-?-composed music with improvisation. He composes all the music for his many varied groups.
Dom also worked for Young Audiences New York, where he was the first teaching artist to use song writing as a learning tool in its’ Literacy Programs throughout the NYC area. Since then he has composed over three hundred children songs.
Wanting to have control of all aspects of his music, Dom along with his wife, formed CDM Records. Because of earlier experiences of constantly getting fired for playing ‘too far out’, his wife Carol urged him to finally record Ellington the way he “heard it”. With his new trio, Ken Filiano - bass and Jackson Krall - drums, on April 23rd , 2001 they recorded in one set, Takin 'The Duke Out Live, at the Knitting Factory in NYC. It was released in October 2001. Dom expected this record to be the last recording CDM Records or he would ever make as a leader. To his astonishment, Takin' The Duke Out met with glowing reviews. Of course there were some die-hard Duke fans who absolutely hated it, but that was expected. Since then CDM has released Goin' Out Again (2002) and Time Will Tell (2003). In 2004 CDM released Quick Response and Carol Mennie’s I’m Not A Sometime Thing.
In March 2006, Dom’s most ambitious project was released. Using his trio as a base and writing for small and large ensembles, The Vampire’s Revenge, is a double disc set of almost two hours of through-composed music with lots of room for improv. Many renowned Jazz Journalists throughout the USA, Canada and Europe selected The Vampire’s Revenge as one of the best recordings of 2006. In September 2007 CDM released The Jon Hemmersam/Dom Minasi Quartet, along with Dom’s five previous recordings, was named as a first draft ballot for a Grammy nomination. In April 2009 Dom recorded Dissonance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder for re:KonstruKt Records and late ron the Konnex Records label. The CD features Dom on nylon string guitar, Jason Kao Hwang (violin), Tomas Ulrich (cello) and Ken Filiano (contrabass). Dissonance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder is a totally different sounding group, a real combination of contemporary 21st century composition coupled with modern improvisation.
April 2010 re:KonstruKt Records released The Bird The Girl and the Donkey followed by Dom’s first solo recording Looking Out looking In. In 2011 Nacht Records release Synchronicity with Karl Berger on vibes and piano.
Since 2015, Dom has mostly recorded for Unseen Records except for Freeland with Buenos Aires guitarist Juampy Juarez on the Cirko Records label in 2018.
His most recent release is Remembering Cecil ( April 2019), a homage to the deceased giant of the Avant Garde