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
Sunday, March 16, 2014
New Intense Interview with Dom Minasi
Monday, March 17, 2014
Free Jazz -New Reviews
Check It Out:
Alluvium: “the two musicians set out on course where they dodge and weave around each other as snippets of melodic runs smash into tonal clusters"
Angel's Dance:"…..Minasi and Stevens engage melodically, creating deeply engaging passages with layers that unfold in repeat listens."
Saturday, May 10, 2014
The Musical Meetings of Dom Minasi with Michael Jefry Stevens and Hans Tammen
by Eyal Hareuveni
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.
Friday, January 2, 2015
Check It Out:
Chris Kelsey's Favorite Musicians for 2014
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".
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
New Review -NY _Woodstock
Dom Minasi & Chris Kelsey - Duets NYC/Woodstock (Tzazz Krytyk, 2015) ****
By Paul Acquaro
I recently covered a duo recording of guitarist Dom Minasi paired with saxophonist Blaise Siwula. Last year, I wrote about one with pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, and another with Hans Tammen. The duo format seems to be one that Minasi enjoys, and for that I'm grateful, as his latest with soprano sax player Chris Kelsey, Duets NYC/Woodstock, is an absolute joy of an album.
I was unfamiliar with Kelsey's playing but am hooked now. The duo locks into strong grooves that rely on implicit pulses - and how they move! There is a great deal of rapid-fire runs, but they are balanced against an equal amount of reflective moments.
The opener 'Fondness & Trepidation' both sports a fun title and a wealth of musical ideas. I would say that fondness is the operative work and trepidation just a bit of self-effacing humor as the duo shows great compatibility from the get go. Minasi strums, plucks and picks, and you can sense the camaraderie after Kelsey's first few notes. Speaking of which, there are many, as his melodic lines rise and fall with vim and vigor.
The two-standout tracks are 'Rod Serling' and 'Say What', which come towards the middle and end of the album. The former starts with Minasi offering a melody and Kelsey reacting with a repetitive motif, gaining in speed and ferocity until reaching a breaking point, and beginning again. The latter features Kelsey's elliptical and syncopated melody against the fierce comping that Minasi uses to deftly manipulate the direction of the musical conversation.
If you only get one Dom Minasi duo album this year, get this one, and then while you're at it, pick up the others.
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,