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playing inspired me to keep on searching and to reach for the stars.
This album is a culmination of my 30 years of free-form playing. To
some free-form means atonal, but it’s not. It is culmination of notes
that can be beautiful or (to some ) ugly. But it is free, meaning not
in time, no time signature. Just as Sigmund Freud used free
association, that’s what free players do. It is easier to listen to a
solo artist than it is to a quartet. If it is a good quartet, each
musician would listen to each other and play off of their
compatriots . If they don’t listen, then it sounds like a mish-mash
of nothing. Is it avant-garde? Sometimes, but free playing has been
going on throughout the centuries. Is it accepted in today’s society
of pop induced music? Not all the time. There is a limited audience
for this music.Cecil Taylor, who was raised in Queens NY, and ended up at the New England Conservatory of music where he studied classical
composition, was heavily influenced by the music of Bartok and
Stockhausen. When he came back to New York with his brand of
jazz ( improvisation), he was snubbed by the jazz community. Slowly
he began to work and introduce chord clusters and playing in a
more percussive way. He was finally accepted for the genius he was.
His solo performances were regaled as extraordinary. A usual high
energy set would run close to an hour.That’s what I attempted to do. But using four free improv solos. The
first three are very long and the last piece is short. I ask that you
keep an open mind to what you are going hear. I don’t use any
effects. It is sheer open improv. Cecil played piano and I am playing
guitar. There are some things I just can’t do because it is a guitar. I
feel I came close to what Cecil would have done.
I would like to thank Mary Dunayer of Musecat Studio for a
splendid job of recording and mixing and Jack DeSalvo of Unseen
Rain Records for producing and releasing this Recording.
A special thanks to German Aprile for making an extraordinary
guitar that I love to play and to Valeria Marchese for cover photo.
My only regret is that I didn’t have a chance to play with Cecil. He
passed away on April 5th 2018.
— Dom Minasi
Dom Minasi – guitar
All music by Dom Minasi, Dom Minasi Pub. ASCAP
Recorded and mixed by Mary Dunayer at Musecat Studio, New York
Cover photo by Valeria Marchese
Design by Qua’s Eye Graphics
Produced by Jack DeSalvo
JULIE LYON‘s new album MOONFLOWER, her follow-up to the critically acclaimed JULIE, features original songs and compositions and is in many ways her first solo album. Though accompanied by her band, the focus is not only on Ms. Lyon’s considerable vocal talents but also on her role as lyricist and songwriter. The seeds of MOONFLOWER were sown when Julie began to write lyrics to some of composer Jack DeSalvo’s music. It became obvious that recording this music would be the vocalist’s next project and music by Julie Lyon along with additional collaborations with Tom Cabrera and Betsy Serafin create a tapestry of sophisticated listening experiences with music touching new jazz, folk and world music but always rooted in Julie’s sense of swing and the blues. The title song MOONFLOWER is written by multi-instrumentalist/composer Matt Lavelle.
“Ms. Lyon shows that the she knows exactly what she is doing here and executes all of her songs exquisitely. She’s the real deal in her element here with a voice that is like a nice chianti – Smooth, subtle, complex, and a little playful. When she is singing, what you hear is not only the lyrics, but a visceral love of singing that shines through her instrument, very refreshing and appealing.” – Jonathan Shade, Night Life Exchange
Free sheet music from this recording is included with album download.
“Julie Lyon Quintet is the best cure for the blues… Julie will give you almost an hour of warm, sincere and very cozy jazz. This American vocalist and her partners do not seek to create some bold experiments, avant-garde delights or to display the power of the voice. The voice of Julie Lyon is not about free rein sound but rather depth of experience and the aura of the truth of jazz will not leave you from the first track to the last.” – – Leonid Auskern, Jazzquad, Russia
Let it be said loud and clear, this recording with Matt’s quartet is a jazz record. Having recruited Dr. Lewis Porter on piano, Hilliard Greene on bass and Tom Cabrera on drums, clearly Lavelle wanted to make music that swings with a vengeance. And it does. The track Matt Bop is astonishing in its raw swing that emits spirals of associated past and future shapes from the jazz continuum.
As welcoming and universal this music from the Matt Lavelle Quartet is, it is at the level of the personal that it hits home with the tracks For Taps, Matt’s Mode, No More Shootings and Tamir Rice.
New York based drummer Tom Cabrera graces the recordings and bandstands of so many creative ensembles, from the 12 Houses Orchestra to the Julie Lyon Quartet, that when it came to making his own record he decided on an intimate affair. Cabrera’s trio features virtuoso pianist Bob Rodriguez and double-bass master Mark Hagan in dynamic, moving performances of the music of composer Jack DeSalvo.
SUMARI II, from the powerful trio of multi-instrumentalists Matt Lavelle on trumpet and alto clarinet, Jack DeSalvo on electric guitar, cello, banjo and bass ukulele and Tom Cabrera on drums and percussion, go one step further than their debut album SUMARI (one of Downbeat’s Best Albums of 2015) in
creating vast soundscapes alternating with intense interplay.
“Matt Lavelle, Jack DeSalvo, Tom Cabrera – SUMARI: If you are a fan of great improvised & fusion-oriented music, you won’t find a better recorded session than this one from June, 2015. ” – Rotcod Zzaj,
Three post-modern multi-instrumentalist shamans channeling intrepid music extending from jazz into new
music and folk and World music.
“This is the kind of music that results from artists who invest years in learning their instruments and expressing them in ways that fall outside normal conventions. DeSalvo and Cabrera have partnered their guitars and percussion before, and that investment, too, bears fruit on their newest. This music has the heart and soul of the Cherry/Walcott/Vasconcelos Codona trio recordings… an earthy ambiance that emanates strength from a wise economy of notes and beats. Music that transcends genre, behaves as if it doesn’t even see the point of it. Also, great music to just kick back and listen to its particular serenity fill the room.” – David Summer, wonderingsound.com
On their second album for UNSEEN RAIN, Tom Cabrera and Jack DeSalvo provide a global environment for their virtuosic, improvised renderings of deep, passionate music featuring an amazing collection of instruments, including frame drums, mandola, riq, cello, tombak, guitar and darbuka. The result is crystalline beauty, as rare as a Libra Moon.
Deep within many ancient traditions seems to be the common thread of a completely unified field of consciousness. The implication is that individual minds are simply projecting this universal consciousness, albeit filtered through the limitations of each individual’s physiology and the particularities of space-time.
The overarching distractions of commercially-based civilization, among other things, obscures spiritual life and leaves us to find traces of transcendence where we can.
Improvised music, when shared between players (and audience) is possibly an opportunity to glimpse this universal consciousness – if the players are fully present and listen in the moment. The music itself is the vibratory manifestation of the process of transcending the artificial barriers of the individual mind.
The stories the music tells of moments of intimations of this universal consciousness are Tales of Coming Home
I discovered improvised music little by little as a teenager, studying classical guitar and playing in garage bands. It was, however, the solo recordings of Keith Jarrett that intimated a process that was perhaps even more paradigm shattering than the astonishing jazz that I was listening to at that time. He wasn’t simply improvising over the harmonies inherent in a composed song.
He was making the whole thing up.
The only parallel to this, and it is far from the same process, is channeling. Yet the music produced in this context, though completely fresh and of-a-piece, is not completely unaffected by one’s physiology and the reservoir of music available to human ears in this historical period.
I was determined to search for, if not the same process, a process that would necessitate moving myself out of the way and allowing music that clearly already exists in some other world, some other dimension, some parallel universe beyond myself, to flow through my instrument, the guitar.
There has been, incidentally, countless other precedents of truly extemporaneous composition in performance, a list which would include the Bengali Baûls, certain Sufi musicians and maybe even J.S. Bach himself. Whether or not I have been utterly successful in finding such a lofty process, what we are offering here is completely spontaneous music that is representative of the search. — Jack DeSalvo
The juxtaposition of compositional succinctness and improvisational abandon is realized here in the music of Jack DeSalvo, whose remarkable guitar playing is aided by a stellar group featuring UR artist Chris Kelsey on soprano sax, Austrian double-bass master Peter Herbert and drummer Bruce Ditmas.