Jason Domnarski Trio: Notes From Underground (2008)
Domnarski is a clever cat, indeed. More importantly, his largely slow-to-medium tempo works, boast simple and undeniably endearing primary themes, featuring solid rock beats and laidback Latin jazz pulses. On "Big in Japan," his dark piano sound is overlaid with a sitar-like effect that drives home a subtle and memorably melodic primary motif, offset by an electronics based, avant-garde spin during the bridge. On "G Unit," Domnarski rides atop the rhythm section's quirky beats via his antique acoustic piano shaded treatments and phrasings.
The pianist electronically alters his eighty-eights with a phased tremolo backwash during his eerie, yet somewhat cartoonish take of David Bowie's "Life on Mars." Either way, the trio conveys that the sky's the limit. More importantly, Domnarski surfaces as a persuasive composer who is adept at using understated mechanisms and techniques to colorize his keen arranging faculties. Here, the artist somewhat unassumingly goes against the grain while combining oddball niceties into his pleasantly twisted game-plan. Hence, an unanticipated surprise for 2008 that yields magnetic attributes.
Track Listing: Shape Shifters; Big in Japan; Tofu Queen; G Unit; New Yorkistan; Life On Mars; Feedback; Detune.
Personnel: Jason Domnarski: piano; John Davis: bass; Dave Mason: drums.
Record Label: Self Produced
Style: Fringes of Jazz