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Dom Minasi: Quick Response

One of the more distinctive and iconoclastic guitar stylists on the scene today, Dom Minasi alternately floats like a butterfly on the fretboard and stings like a swarm of killer bees on Quick Response (CDM), which has Minasi again playing it a bit more inside than usual without sacrificing his uncompromising nature. His solo on the minor key modal piece “Feels Like Rain in China,” for instance-warm-toned and muted in an old school jazz guitar sense while strictly following the harmonic contour of the piece-sounds positively conservative. And his melodic, economical single note lines on gorgeous organ ballads “For My Father” and “When Your Dreams Come True” are velvety smooth. If those fairly straightforward tracks seem a tad too inside for the avant crowd, Minasi redeems himself with more bursts of edgy fretboard pyrotechnics on “Into the Night,” “Dizzy Lizzie” (his outre extrapolation on “Take the ‘A’ Train”), the turbulent title track and a highly caffeinated, totally irreverent version of “Softly As in a Morning Sunrise.” Organist Kyle Koehler, an exciting soloist, serious groover and sympathetic accompanist, is Minasi’s secret weapon here, but the intonation-challenged alto saxophonist Mark Whitecage is more of an acquired taste.

Originally Published