Dom Minasi: The Vampire’s Revenge – Jazz Guitar Life CD Review

With the release of The Vampire’s Revenge, Dom Minasi has surpassed his previous endeavours a hundred fold and has assuredly become THE definitive voice for the new music scene. Two CD’s, ten tunes, one hundred and eighteen minutes of music, no less than twenty musicians, one conductor, and one exceptional guitar player/composer make up the most ambitious, adventurous and daring concept album to come around in a very long time.

Building on his continual working relationship with bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Jackson Krall, Dom Minasi has crafted a set of ten tunes that at any one time use all, or a combination of, twenty musicians who share an intuitive bond in bringing both the written and improvised music to being. Through harmonic pursuit, melodic objective, sonic manipulation, tonal expansion, instrument shrieks, squeaks and squawks, inner voices, multi-dialogues, vocal cries, shouts, and fiery runs up and down the guitar neck, The Vampire’s Revenge takes on a shape of it’s own as Minasi, with the assistance of conductor Byron Olson, brings the music to life many times over.

This is however more than just a series of ten tunes or a “putting together” of musical bits and pieces, it is musical theater. It is drama that follows the frenzied step-by-step occurrences that transpire when “sired” by a creature of the night. And much like Anne Rice’ conception of Vampire lore put to the written word, Minasi has done the same albeit in musical form. Check out “Just One More Bite” or “Where You Gonna’ Go? Where You Gonna’ Hide?” to hear the tragedy and humor that these tunes convey, thanks in no small part to the extremely animated vocalizing of vocalist Carol Mennie and orator Peter Ratray. Very cool stuff!

And now comes a humbling moment. While trying to write a review of The Vampire’s Revenge I quickly realized that anything I could possibly say about The Vampire’s Revenge wouldn’t do the music justice. So I asked the man himself to talk about the project, and thankfully he agreed. You can click here to read what he has to say about this most imaginative of projects. It is both informative and entertaining to say the least.

However, having said that, I would like to state for the record that apart from the enormity of Minasi’s composition and arranging talents, his guitar playing is “off da hook”. His style of play may not be your cup of tea depending on your musical tastes, but there is no denying that the man can play. And he delivers. From the 12 string chordal dissonance of “The Seduction” to the hyperactive dialogue between Minasi and pianist Mathew Shipp on “The Dark Side” to another frenetic dialogue between Minasi and pianist Borah Bergman on “Blood Lust” and much more, Minasi plays this music as honestly as he hears it, and that’s all we can ask of any musician.

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