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Dom Minasi: The Vampire's Revenge (2006)

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Dom Minasi: The Vampire's Revenge How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

With an eerie program that follows from Dom Minasi's impressions of Interview with the Vampire, a novel by Anne Rice, an ensemble of improvising artists supplies heightened emotions and powerful sonic storms in empathy. The leader's guitar can be heard leading with passionate strokes as his band of creative instrumentalists stirs up a maelstrom of activity. Instrumental cries and shrieks blend with moans and groans as the ensemble travels over impressionistic ground. Carol Mennie adds wordless vocal lines to the mix, using her voice as an additional creative instrument for Minasi's progressive adventure.

The helter-skelter nature of the leader's core program, which spans two discs, comes with the unifying thread of his personable guitar. "The First Day, for example, finds the ensemble marching through an Old World landscape that's brightened and personified by Minasi's guitar solo, which takes its focus to flight. His instrument adds intense motion to the scenery. Steve Swell, Herb Robertson and John Gunther give "Just One More Bite a serious punch that drives the piece through a surreal arena. Mennie's vocals add just enough luster and personality, while Minasi's guitar spreads splashes of fine-tuned melody all over the place.

Paul Smoker, Borah Bergman and Joe McPhee add considerable bite to "Blood Lust, creating motion that surrounds the room with creepy activity. When Minasi steps in, the scene shifts to one that contains harmony and a mellower outlook. The vampire's persona is never very far away, however, as each member of the band takes his shots. Creative outcries abound.

The album's title track, "The Vampire's Revenge, brings collective instrumental wails and moans to the forum as Minasi and company battle it out for supremacy. Everyone gets involved as the situation heats up, and the matter of a vampire running loose in New York creates even more havoc. Highly original and intensely profound, Minasi's adventure grabs the listener tight and won't let go.

Track Listing: The Seduction; Whos Your Dentist?; Just One More Bite; The Transformation; The Dark Side; The First Day; Blood Lust; The Hunt; Where You Gonna Go? Where You Gonna Hide?; The Vampires Revenge.

Personnel: Dom Minasi: guitar; Ken Filiano, Francois Grillot: bass; Jackson Krall: drums; Perry Robinson: clarinet; Joe Giardullo: soprano saxophone; Mark Whitecage, Blaise Siwula: alto saxophone; Joe McPhee, Sabir Mateen: tenor saxophone; Ras Moshe, John Gunther: reeds; Matthew Shipp, Borah Bergman: piano; Paul Smoker: flugelhorn; Herb Robertson: trumpet; Steve Swell: trombone; Jason Kao Hwang: violin; Tomas Ulrich: cello; Carol Mennie: vocal; Peter Ratray: spoken word; Byron Olson: conductor.

Style: Modern Jazz


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