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David Dominique is Behind the Mask on Genre-Blending New Album

The flugabone player explores a myriad of styles on latest release

David Dominique
David Dominique (photo by: Joey Wharton)

In an age when music from practically every generation in recorded history is at your fingertips, you’d think that bold cross-genre blending would be much more common among musicians than it is. David Dominique’s second album, Mask, is a rare instance of just such a multistylistic mashup. It seemingly combines everything from Middle Eastern folk and Steve Reich-ian minimalism to Charles Mingus’ holy-roller church meetings and metal guitar stabs, all performed by an octet led by Dominique on his quirky brass instrument of choice, the flugabone (a flugelhorn/trombone combo).

“My approach is to capture music that occurs to me spontaneously in moments when I’m not specifically composing or searching for music,” Dominique says from Richmond, Va., where he’s a music professor at the College of William & Mary. “Ideas usually come to me when going to sleep. It can be a contrapuntal situation with multiple melodies or something fully realized with rhythm and texture. It can be torture when I need to sleep. It almost never happens when I actually try to sit down at a piano or with my horn. I like complex timbres. I’m just trying to boil all those things into one thing.”

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Ken Micallef

Ken Micallef was once a jazz drummer; then he found religion and began writing about jazz rather than performing it. (He continues to air-drum jazz rhythms in front of his hi-fi rig and various NYC bodegas.) His reportage has appeared in Time Out, Modern Drummer, DownBeat, Stereophile, and Electronic Musician. Ken is the administrator of Facebook’s popular Jazz Vinyl Lovers group, and he reviews vintage jazz recordings on YouTube as Ken Micallef Jazz Vinyl Lover.