Friday, February 28, 2014
Dom Minasi, you know, if you read this blog, anyway. Hans Tammen you may not. Both play guitar and can and do go into zones of adventure and freedom. The two met as a part of an eight-guitar ensemble, found that they had compatible conceptions musically, and made a point to get together as a duo and record. The result is this album, Alluvium (straw2gold pictures).
It has a focus on sound and grit. There are almost punk-ish, post-Beefheartian moments on this set of improvisations. Hans initially looked to Sonny Sharrock and Pete Cosey as influences. Some of that is in there in his playing, but much more of his own besides. Dom has influences in roots harmomelodism from Johnny Smith on, but then has taken things out in his very own ways, which can vary as widely as you could imagine, from pulsating, harmonically pinned fluorescence to sound-sculpting.
This is an album that shows a rare, vibrant species of chemistry between two guitarists. They travel the space ways and they plant their feet firmly on earth as well, sometimes in a heartbeat.
This is what open improvisation is about. Between two truly inventive artists. No preconceptions except to live in the spontaneous creative moments of now! The listener must anticipate the unknown. Like going on those "mystery rides" my dad sometimes sprung on us kids when I was young. Where? You find out as you go. That's the excitement that this music puts forward. You don't ask, "When are we going to get there?" Because "there" starts, continues and ends with the duration of this set. Open up!
Gregory Edwards Applegate
Friday, January 2, 2015
12 Most Article for All Bout Jazz
All About Jazz's Top 12 Read Articles. of 2014."My Practice Do You "? is on it.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to it and who read it.
Monday, January 5, 2015
" This is life-affirming and bold music that shows an awareness of jazz tradition. It reaches out to the listener without taking the easy way out. “ Jakob Beakgaard All About Jazz
Friday, January 23, 2015
The Sunshine Don't Minne My Singing
Reviewed by Grego Apllegate
Thursday, January 29, 2015
BLAISE SIWULA / DOM MINASI - The Sunshine Don't Mind
My Singing (Nacht ; USA) Featuring Blaise Siwula on soprano &
tenor sax and Dom MInasi on guitar.
It seems only a matter of time
before both of these gifted improvisers would get together since
both seem to thrive in the free situation. Whereas Mr. Minasi has
had a long career, originally as a studied jazz musician with two
early albums on Blue Note, which he would like to forget about,
while Mr.Siwula has played with dozens (hundreds?) of musicians
from around the world who come from a wide variety of genres
and cultures but speak the common language of free improv. Dom
and Blaise have recorded a couple of times previously for the
CIMP and Konnex labels. There are no notes on this disc so we
don't know where or when it was recorded. All we do know is that
it has six tracks is about an hour long. At the beginning it sounds
like there is a bird in the background, could this be a live outdoors
recording? Actually the bird(s) which is in the background sounds
at times like he part of the dialogue that is going on between the
duo. The sound here is clean and warm with Mr. Minasi using little
or no effects on his thick hollow-body guitar.
This duo is extremely well-matched as they spin often quick lines around one
another in a tight stream. For those of us who love spirited improv
at it best, this disc is richly rewarding!,
--Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Three New Reviews
Just in. Three Incredible Reviews . Thank You Dick Metcalf:
1. Angel's Dance with Michael Jefry Stevens
2. The Sun Don't Mind My Singing with Blaise Siwula
3. Alluvium with Hans Tammen
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Blaise Siwula and Dom Minasi
Saxophonist and clarinetist Blaise Siwula and guitarist Dom Minasi share a unique musical vision and seamless camaraderie. Years of performing and recoding together have crystallized their adventurous outlook and their intellectual communion. The sublime set of spontaneous duets; The Sunshine Don't Mind My Singing is the perfect showcase of these attributes.
Siwula and Minasi weave elements from various genres into the half a dozen, stimulating improvisations that comprise the album. "Upstream Boogie," for instance starts out as a deconstructed rondo as Siwula's warm, resonant clarinet and Minasi's percussive guitar engage in a circular, sinewy dance up and down the scales with breathtaking agility. Their showcase of virtuosity is not at the expense of artistic creativity. The piece evolves in a series of fast, repeating motifs into an intelligent and emotive exchange of ideas. It concludes with Minasi's thick chords chiming against Siwula's troubadour like woodwind song.
Elsewhere on "Ballad For Miss-Begotten" the pair build a bluesy atmosphere with Minasi's cascade of slow simmering notes and Siwula's evocative, vibrato filled saxophone. The passionate dialogue maintains a definite earthy rawness all the while progressing into a cerebral, contemplative stream of consciousness conversation that is provocative and unfettered. The tune delightfully wavers between avant-garde extemporizations and earlier swing styles. Siwula eschews honks and wails in favor of lithe, up-tempo, free flowing ad lib lines, laced with reserved excitement and subtle ardor. Minasi's rhythmic flourishes contain fragments of trad jazz cadence.
Despite the angular and often dissonant nature of these harmonic explorations they all subsume a strong melodic undercurrent. On the title track Siwula's fiery boisterous clarinet winds tightly around Minasi's intricate tonal patterns resulting in swirls of bright sounds that swing with their own internal "logic." A bittersweet lilt accents their flirtations with atonality.
This intellectually thrilling and innovative album requires and rewards close and attentive listening. It is certainly not for background ambience but it does have a surprising accessibility that will satisfy and captivate a wide range of open-minded music fans.
Thursday, February 5, 2015
By Paul Acquaro
The Sunshine Don't Mind My Singing by guitarist Dom Minasi and woodwind player Blaise Siwula is an effortless conversation between musicians who have their positions and points of view and enjoy making them. A confidence exudes from their playing and a camaraderie really comes through in their interactions, all in all, it adds up to a delightful recording for us listeners.
The recording starts out with 'Bird Mixology', and it's an ology that pervades the entire recording as the unobtrusive chirp of birds provide a sonic backdrop to the playing in the foreground. Siwula's clarinet is bright and present as he swoops and dives around Minasi's sweeping and plucking. Minasi's tone is clean and dry, and his playing - be it a burst of scales, a flurry chords, or a reflective melody - bristles with life.
'Ballad for Miss-begotten' is an album highlight and shows how a duo can be much bigger sounding than two instruments, and captures the feeling of flight being free. Old-timey blues permeates the start of the title track, with Siwula grabbing the spotlight with an evocative trills and slurs on the clarinet. Minasi accompanies with everything from the sounds of scratched strings to his (must-be) patented melodic clusters of notes.
The Sunshine Don't Mind My Singing is a real nice array of songs born of many ideas and styles. The overall sound is refined and comfortable, assured and precise. My initial concern was that the bird sounds on the first track would continue as a theme throughout ... and they do ... but their sound become a part of the sonic background and indeed, they too don't mind the singing.
Thank You Paul Acquaro For A Great Review: http://www.freejazzblog.org/
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
New Review -NY _Woodstock
Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog
Chris Kelsey & Dom Minasi, Duets NYC/Woodstock
There are recordings that are very good but perhaps do not stand out as breakthrough examples of improvisational brilliance, and there are those that have that quality. Today's recording is one of those breakthroughs. I speak of Chris Kelsey and Dom Minasi's latest, Duets NYC/Woodstock (Tzazz Krytyk CD). As the title suggests it is a series of duets between Chris Kelsey on soprano sax and Dom Minasi on electric guitar, recorded last year in New York and Woodstock.
The two have perhaps never sounded so inspired. Chris on soprano burns through motives and structures his playing so that fire and sensibility are seemingly always conjoined. Dom's playing too has fire and a complementary free logic so that the two engage in a free counterplay that is exhilarating to hear and extraordinary in impact.
There are nine free segments, some brief, others slightly less so, but always focused and filled with virtuoso flourishes. There is almost a telepathic togetherness in where they set out to go in each segment. Chris is dry and brittle, terse yet ever expanding on the initial motivic cells he brings in. Dom has a more liquid tone, a fiercely cascading series of chords and note phrases that show much schooling yet an ever-more original use of the possibilities his guitar makes available to him.
They both stand out here as reaching a pivotal point in their free-open stance. It is a breakthrough moment, in short, a tall hurdle surmounted and an entry into the new ground that opens up after the long climb.
It is most definitely music that needs to be heard! Chris Kelsey and Dom Minasi are at the top of their game and the inspiration shown leaves you very impressed but also very stimulated, elated even. Hear this without fail if you can!
-Grego Applegate Edwards
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
New Review -NY _Woodstock
CHRIS KELSEY & DOM MINASI - Duets/NYC/Woodstock
(Tzazz Krytyk; USA)
Featuring Chris Kelsey on soprano sax and Dom Minasi on guitar. Mr. Kelsey has a half -dozen discs on the CIMP and Cadence labels as well as a great Electric Miles Project that he self-released last year. Dom Minasi has some two-dozen releases on several labels, working with a large number of Downtown's best. Recently Minasi has done some fine duos with Hans Tammen, Blaise Siwula and Michael Jefry Stevens. We can now add this duo that batch of successful collaborations.
This is an intense and spirited conversation between two gifted improvisers who seem to enjoy pushing each other higher and higher, faster and at times exhaustive in the pace. Although, "Blues Ultimatum" does start off as sort of blues, it soon shifts between quick and slower sections nicely woven together with intense exchanges/solos. The oddly titled, "Memories of Being Very Angry" sounds like a Monk song twisted inside-out with some crazed bent-note soprano from Mr. Kelsey.
Some of these pieces sound like a standard when it starts and then is deconstructed as the duo twist the theme in different directions with unexpected results. There seems to be a secret language going on here that takes some time to get used to. From playful to very intense, we never know where we will end up except that the exchanges will be connected on some level which we have to search for. This is thoroughly challenging music and one of the more extreme excursions I've heard in recent times.
-Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Three New Reviews
From Dan Bilawsky of All About Jazz...Thanks again Dan.
"Improvising musicians all pay lip service to the idea of working without a net, but most end up building safety precautions—no matter how slight or subtle they may be—into 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. These three duo dates, full of mayhem and mirth, confirm Minasi's reputation as one of the great creative guitar artists operating today".
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Ron Aprea Pay Tribute To John Lenno
Pleasure to be part of this CD
Sunday, August 14, 2016
From a Former Student
In 1964, when I was 8 years old, I walked into Al Victors studio , rented a guitar and met you for the first time. You were my guitar teacher. I fondly recall playing " Red Roses For a Blue Lady", "Smile", " More", etc. and eventually you had be playing Granada and working with Arbans trumpet book. You were inspiring and an amazing guitarist not to mention very nice to me. I just wanted to let you know how those 3 years of lessons impacted my life and others . I did not pursue music but still keep playing guitar. My dad was a mailman and when I was 15 he died of lung cancer. I worked hard and became a physician . Graduated NYU med school, trained at Bellevue, New York Hospital and Brown. During med school lots of students would gather around and I'd play guitar, party and have a great pressure release as well as fun! Over the years I initially practiced pediatrics and the kids loved it when I'd play and for at least a moment help them forget their serious illnesses . I went on to practice Psychiatry and work with people with addictions. Even the toughest patient , most hurt souls and least trusting person respond when they hear C, Am, F and G. I have purchased a number of your recordings, still have your first albums at home and was thrilled to see how successful you've become. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks and what you taught me so many years ago has touched many lives .
Thank you and best always,
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
All About Jazz
Home » Articles » Album Reviews
Dom Minasi: Remembering Cecil
Dan McClenaghan By DAN MCCLENAGHAN
April 18, 2019
Dom Minasi: Remembering Cecil
Guitarist Dom Minasi counts the late pianist Cecil Taylor (1929-2018) as one of his idols. Taylor was among the true pioneers of free jazz, with free-flying ensemble recordings like Unit Structures (Blue Note, 1966), Conquistador (Blue Note, 1967), and scores of solo piano outings, notably including Silent Tongues (Freedom, 1974), and For Olim (Soul Note, 1986). For many free jazz fans, it was the solo sets that showcased Taylor's true genius, so it is fitting that Minasi goes solo for his tribute to Taylor, with Remembering Cecil.
Not many pianists would attempt to take on Taylor in a head-to-head piano session; almost none would have the right stuff. Taylor's classical background combined with his wild-eyed, in-your-face freedom are unmatchable. A guitar taking on the spirit of Taylor seems even more far fetched, but Minasi does a marvelous job of it.
The album consists of four extended free improvisations, an approach akin to Taylor's often very extended solo piano workouts. Taylor's music was commonly described as atonal. It wasn't always. Not even most of the time. It was very often very percussive—Taylor played the piano at times as if he were trying to hammer it into the floor. Minasi, through a free-leaning player, presents a much smoother flow, with chord clusters and rapid-fire single notes coalescing into an odd and angular allure, a sound that is more overtly beautiful than what Taylor played—not that beauty wasn't there with Taylor, but sometimes multiple deep listening was required to fully appreciate it. Minsasi could probably play improvisations like this in a winery tasting room—where understated background grooves are usually heard—without getting tossed out of the place, though a segment of the audience (those not in the know; those without curious ears) might roll their eyes, might think him crazy. And he certainly would not fade into the background; he would command attention.
The spirit of Cecil Taylor, the headlong freedom, the chance-taking, the manic joy and live wire energy are all here. Dom Minasi does Cecil Taylor proud.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
All About Jazz
Dom Minasi: Remembering Cecil
Hrayr Attarian By HRAYR ATTARIAN
May 12, 2019
Dom Minasi: Remembering Cecil
Innovative pianist Cecil Taylor, who passed away on April 5th 2018, was a transformative force in the world of improvisational music. His signature percussive pianism was imbued with dynamic poetry and he, together with saxophonist Ornette Coleman, is credited with starting the free jazz movement. Taylor has also been a source of inspiration for fellow New Yorker, guitarist Dom Minasi. Minasi who is equally idiosyncratic, and similarly pushes artistic boundaries, pays tribute to Taylor on the emotive and vibrant Remembering Cecil.
The provocative release consists of four spontaneous, unaccompanied pieces simply named "Improv," one through four. Minasi opens the disc with dissonant and muscular chords that form an energetic and fiery solo. As it progresses Minasi's crisp lines and crystalline notes echo against each other, coalescing into a quiet and pensive musing.
The second track is equally poignant, and stands out because of its bluesy touches and soulful swagger. Minasi's extemporization evolves in complexity without losing its passionate core. The cerebral performance elegantly simmers within the haunting and expectant ambience. The contemplative and wistful third "Improv" is more introspective than the previous two. As it evolves, an angry edge glows darkly within it yet the conclusion is solemn and serene.
The final tune on the record has a cinematic and crepuscular atmosphere with richly-textured phrases and eloquent lyricism. MInasi, as always, demonstrates incredible agility as he coaxes contrasting and complementary sounds out of his strings, moving from the reserved and melancholic to the restlessly animated.
This brilliantly original album is not a standard homage that often reinterprets the dedicatee's works. Steeped in reminiscence and sorrow Remembering Cecil is part elegy for and part celebration of Taylor and his oeuvre. This unique and stimulating music reflects simultaneously Taylor's spirit and Minasi's distinctiveness. It also makes a compelling listening experience
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Dom Minasi, Remembering Cecil, Solo Guitar Improvisations
If you've never tried (assuming you play guitar) you may not realize how difficult, even counter-intuitive it can be to play "completely free" on the guitar. Part of it is percussiveness, gravity, the way that hands situate to the keyboard versus a fretboard-and-finger action that is not a first reaction-inclination if you are say three years old and somehow get next to a guitar. And in some ways it explains why we might find more absolutely freestyle pianists than guitarists? A child may sit down to a piano and wang away at it without a whole lot of thought. Because it is a percussing. Plucking is less obvious. On a guitar really you must already know how to play it pretty well or very well before you can hope to address a potentially valid "free" and completely open improvisation.
That does not mean an excellent free improvisation on the piano is something easy. It is not at all easy. If we lost a titan of the free improv piano around a year ago, that is the giant Cecil Taylor, we are in many ways still reeling from the loss, for he was one-of-a-kind, not someone you replace so much as keep in memory and pose as a model for such things regardless of the instrument. He was brilliant and so far beyond a merely intuitive stance as to be in the same select league as all exceptionally great players of instruments in human history.
Given all that guitarist Dom Minasi, someone readers of this column I hope know of and appreciate as one of the living lights of the guitar today, aimed recently to pay tribute to the master free improviser pianist in a full set of solo electric guitar entitled Remembering Cecil (Unseen Rain UR9912).
The album is the ultimate challenge of artistry at its most exposed. Just Dom, his guitar and the recording apparatus. He gives us four free improvs that as Dom notes in the liners, are a culmination of his 30 years of playing freely and so too of appreciating the music of Cecil Taylor.
What most intrigues me in listening long and carefully to Dom is the reality that he sounds like no other guitarist when he plays, both in a more straight-ahead mode as well as freely, and that he is a very original free guitarist with a style all his own. As he mentions in the liners this is not "atonal" music but it is not pre-planned nor is it in any set time frame. It cascades. It tumbles. It makes use of all the guitar technique, the considerable guitar technique and schooling Dom has gained and maintained over a lifetime of playing. The technique Dom has accumulated is put to use in a very personal way, in other words, and that is what makes his identity strong and thoroughgoing.
The improvs perforce do not sound at first blush identifiably like Taylor's playing, but that in many ways is because the guitar has its own challenges and playing free on the instrument means a different set of possibilities. And so there is a underlying closeness between the two players in intent, but not in the ultimate sound.
In the end as a free guitarist he sounds completely like himself--not like Derek Bailey, not like Sonny Sharrock, not Elliot Sharp. Like Dom Minasi. In the course of this album you hear the artist just as he was recording this in real time, a kind of self-portrait that is also necessarily a kind of portrait of Cecil Taylor.
And in the process we find on close listening one of the gem examples of free guitar art. And so there you go.
Posted by Grego Applegate Edwards at 9:33 AM
Labels: cutting edge improv guitar today, dom minasi remembering cecil gapplegate guitar review, the electric guitar and free improvisation
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Dom Minasi – Remembering Cecil: Freely improvised solo guitar. Cecil Taylor was a revolutionary improvisational pianist. Dom plays the guitar and I think he has achieved something very important honoring the sound of Cecil Taylor. The guitar is a microtonal instrument, it has been partitioned into the traditional 12 tones but you can bend the strings so the palette is actually much bigger than a piano, and there are so many ways to make sounds using an electric guitar. The sound here is unprocessed, made with pure skill and no studio effects. The music is expressed in tone clusters, polyrhythms and a generally percussive energetic physical approach. It is free meaning not in time, no time signature, and truthfully it is not for everyone. There are quick runs and rapid fire streams of notes, up and back, repeat and repeat, pound it, tickle it, pound it some more, then suddenly go into some entirely new territories. Things happen really quickly. The sound is not about chords or melodies, I hear textures and raw imagination. This style of playing has an unusual expressive effect that is a volatile mixture of ideas packed into a concentrated form. Minasi notes “To some free form means atonal, but it’s not. It is a culmination of notes that can be beautiful or (to some) ugly.”
In 1957 at the Five Spot Cafe something very important in music history happened, with jazz musicians such as Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor. In his early years Taylor played with some of the pioneers of free improvisation, including Steve Lacey, Buell Neidlinger, and Dennis Charles. His quartet made history at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival. Later he played with Jimmy Lyons, Sunny Murray, and Andrew Cyrille. Taylor performed some important solo concerts in Amsterdam and Berlin. In 1986 came the Feel Trio with William Parker and Tony Oxley.
The free improvisation community where Taylor thrived and was incandescent included John Coltrane, Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, Tristan Hornsinger, Louis Moholo, Paul Lovens, Dewey Redman, Elvin Jones, Mat Maneri, and the legendary Albert Ayler. In 2000, at the beginning of the new millennium, came the Cecil Taylor Ensemble, and the Cecil Taylor Big Band, with such notables as Joe Locke, Max Roach, poet Amiri Baraka, Albey Balgochian, Jackson Krall, and Tony Oxley.
The percussive technique used by Taylor has been famously described by photographer Val Wilmer as “eighty eight tuned drums” because of the way the notes just fly. Taylor himself said in 1966, “I try to imitate on the piano the leaps into space a dancer makes.” There is no conventional dancing to this sound, no relaxing, this is art so sit up and listen. “I ask that you keep an open mind to what you are going to hear,” says Minasi in the liner notes. “I do not use any effects.”
According to Dan Bilawsky from All About Jazz, speaking about Minasi, “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.”
Dom Minasi became a professional musician when he was 15 years old and in 1962 he became a teacher while working full time as a musician. In 1974, he was signed to Blue Note Records, and had the opportunity to play with Arnie Lawrence, George Coleman, Frank Foster, Jimmy Heath, Roger Kellaway and Dave Brubeck. He is well known as the major composer for M.I.C.E. (Manhattan Improvisational Chamber Ensemble). Minasi is a man of many interests and abilities, for example he has composed over three hundred children songs. He and his wife Carol formed CDM Records to take more control over his sound. He had great success with his recording Takin’ The Duke Out, playing Ellington the way he “heard it” and later with The Vampire’s Revenge, a double disc set of almost two hours of music that was named as one of the best recordings of 2006. Minasi is truly a giant of the Avant Garde.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Dom Minasi: Remembering Cecil
Raul da Gama -
Jun 1, 2019 148
Dom Minasi: Remembering Cecil
Dom Minasi photographed by Valeria Marchese
The free improvising guitarist Dom Minasi has made a poignant recording in order to remember Cecil Taylor. This is so because Mr Minasi has chosen to remember the great free improvising composer and pianist the way in which he would have liked to be remembered: as someone who’s embodied the poetics of music which is that lofty ideals of art that found expression in spontaneity, lyricism and dancing rhythms. An articulate musician, Mr Taylor never failed to let it be known that ideals expressed in dancing rhythms and motifs were what kept him in the practice of his art throughout his life and attracted him to music be it what was expressed in the tradition as well as what constituted the new tradition ignited by the avant-garde which he led from the front.
Mr Minasi’s four improvised segments attempt to remind us of Mr Taylor’s whole world and the architecture of each work is like a giant slab of sound that is shaped and erected as if to construct an edifice by which not only Mr Minasi would remember him, but so also would we in listening to this music. Each improvisation is like a stratum made up of dyads, triads and bent notes, and as these black dots leap off the proverbial page they appear placed in a manner so as to create an arrhythmia made up of gestures and phrases that tower as if in a Babel-like poly-linguistic manner which resembles an architecture that is eerily similar – at least in a reverently dedicatory way – to what would constitute a musical monument to the pianist.
The improvisations separately and together are constantly shifting; their dynamism suggestive of the proverbial dance that Mr Taylor always wanted to suggest. The shifting relationships evoke the massive natural forces that shape Mr Taylor’s revolutionary work. Sometimes strata stack up immensely; at other moments they thin o the most diaphanous textures; but always there is sense of returning to the same point, only to discover that the perspective has changed in the interim. On top of these seismic musical processes, Mr Minasi creates a virtuoso guitar-performance superstructure whose riotous details suggest the music’s teeming surface life in all its protean variety which in turn speaks to a dioptric perspective of Mr Taylor’s extraordinary repertoire itself through the lend of Mr Minasi’s own music.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
From Brian M. Bacchus
Guitarist Dom Minasi does the seemingly unimaginable, doing tribute to the iconic pianist Cecil Taylor via solo guitar. I can’t say I was thinking it couldn’t be done by someone as unique and iconic as Dom himself, but trying to evoke, in remembrance, Cecil and his music on solo guitar seemed like an insurmountable task. I’m glad to report I was absolutely wrong. If this solo outing tribute weren’t titled as such, you still might only think of Cecil after having listened to these four amazing improvisations. It took me several listens to fully digest the breadth of what Dom has accomplished here. In the end, what one is left with is reverence and love of an icon that has left us, by one that is still with us and all done still staking claim to his own sound and concept!
Bravo Dom Minasi, bravo!
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
DOM MINASI – Remembering Cecil
By Massimo Ricci May 16, 2019
It takes some guts to pay tribute to the most advanced pianist ever on a guitar, which is an inadequate means under several aspects (and, especially, in certain hands). But Dom Minasi – a devotee of Taylor’s art who has been pursuing free-form music for three decades – did it. Consciously, in terms of intention; much less as far as the involvement of the mind during the creative act is concerned. The fruits of this process are four improvisations performed without the aid of effects: a straightforward clean tone was the timbral choice for this homage.
Minasi is the first to advise that “there is a limited audience for this music”. Furthermore, a guitarist is usually subjected to severe scrutiny by his/her peers, who pick anything they believe to know about the instrument’s peculiarities and “defects”, and mercilessly point them out instead of relishing the core of what’s being proposed. This is an error that should be avoided while tackling Remembering Cecil. It’s an album that focuses on the spirit; ostentatious fastidiousness is entirely absent. Make no mistake, Minasi can play. It’s not anyone’s fault if a piano allows a better control on the lingering resonance of the open strings, one of the most annoying features of a guitar throughout an improvisational flux. One has to use what is available, and work around that.
The job was done with indubitable passion besides the obvious respect for the dedicatee. Personally speaking, this writer perceived more Minasi than Taylor (a compliment, for me). Again, what counts in analogous circumstances is the anima; in that regard, this record must be definitely taken into serious consideration. It only remains to be seen how an average listener might be enticed into this type of offering; on the other hand, I remember with shame half a theatre walking away from a Taylor concert in Rome a lifetime ago, someone throwing derisive noises at the group as they were leaving.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of evolution.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
American guitarist Dom Minasi idolized pianist Cecil Taylor, one of the geniuses of free jazz and free music who passed away on April 5th, 2018, for the last thirty years but has not played with him. Minasi was inspired by Taylor to keep on searching and reach for his own sonic stars and he is certain that by now he came close to what Taylor has done.
Minasi’s homage to the late master, «Remembering Cecil», suggests his very personal free-associative and intuitive solo guitar improvisations. No effects were used, Just an open improvisations that are a sort of a summary of thirty years of exercising and experimenting with free-form playing. «It is culmination of notes that can be beautiful or (to some ) ugly», Minasi comments.
Minasi acknowledges that there is a limited audience for this kind of free music, maybe even fewer listeners since he plays the guitar and "there are some things I just can’t do because it is a guitar". But you may forget this introduction after listening to his four, untitled improvisations. Minasi is well-versed in several, parallel musical universes that constantly enriching each other, and just like Taylor, has his very own singular vision, his personal poetic language and imaginative instincts. His free-associative improvisations offers many surprising and profound insights, revelations and reveries about the art of the moment. And just like the experience of listening to Taylor, you most likely find yourself charged by Minasi’s uplifting spiritual energy. Indeed, there is no closer way to come to Taylor world than playing free as Minasi does.
Eyal Hareuveni 7/15/2019
Monday, March 3, 2008
My latest interview on Jaz-Halo
Sunday, March 25, 2018
The Free Jazz Collective
Reviews of Free Jazz and Improvised Music
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 2 comments
By Paul Acquaro
Dom Minasi - Remembering Cecil (Unseen Rain, 2019) ****
I think I've been carrying New York based guitarist Dom Minasi's album, dedicated to Cecil Taylor, in my pocket on a device of some sort for nearly a year. In this time I've actually gone through three devices - one took too long of a swim in a not-as-waterproof-as-advertised dry bag as I was kayaking, the other was a temp device with a pre-cracked screen that simply got worse and worse, until I got my latest gadget. But, I digress. The point here is that Minasi's album is one that I've become attached to. It was recorded not long after Taylor passed away, and on it, the guitarist allows the great improviser's influence shine through in naked, revealing light.
A concert or an album by Cecil Taylor was an outpouring of emotive melody and rhythm. The one and only time I was able to see him perform was the final concert at the Whitney Museum, and as frail as he was at the time, his music was still commanding and percussive. A famous quote from Taylor in fact compared a piano keyboard to 88 tuned drums, and compared Minasi, over the course of four improvised tracks, captures the relentless and effusive spirit of Taylor, but on just his six strings. Minasi's playing captures the tonal clusters, the intense bursts, and the moments of gentle melody, in general he reflects the velocity of sound that would emit from Taylor. The melody that evolves on 'Improv 3' is a real highlight, clear lines that seem to almost grasp the outlines of forming tho