The CD is titled "Dissonance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder", but I have to tell you that you must have a place in your heart for that kind of dissonance. That place has to be a well trained ear for the subtleties of jazz improvisation and a fully developed sense of how stringed instruments interact with each other. Because if you don't, you won't get this CD at all. It is a technical listen, more movie sound track than Saturday afternoon groove.
Dom Minasi is a guitarist and composer worthy of that investment of time and understanding. The ear deserves to understand what Minasi's compositions contain. In the case of "Dissonance", the listener will also want to listen closely to the other musicians. These are all accomplished players who can improvise with the best of them...and can work in the quartet format and sound like one instrument. Which I think is the point of this ensemble.
The Dom Minasi String Quartet came into being four years ago with the recording of "Vampire's Revenge" (CDM Records 1005). It was the child of a larger vision for this music that Minasi had, with a smaller group. Guitar, cello, violin and Contrabass to enable the intermingling of parts without a lot of extra notes. The musicians were hand-picked by Minasi because of their artistry and viruousity.
When you take the time to listen, I mean really listen to this music you begin to appreciate the wonder of it all. Four parts, four uniquely different instruments, and musicians, come together for one voice, one expression of these compositions.
From the openting strains of "The Pasadena Two Step" to the last pulsing notes of "Zing, Zang, Zoom!", this CD is a different experience for the jazz listener.
When you listen to this CD, remember you are listening to a very creative and insightful composer, one who is pushing the envelope in today's jazz scene. Merging classical sounding moods with jazz changes, layering instrument over instrument so that they sound like one expression, those are the things you will hear in this music. While it is not my taste for a recreational jazz listen, it would be mandatory for someone who calls themselves a fan of the genre to dig in and give it a listen, to see how much you can do with jazz as we know it.
Dom Minasi is a creative force that exceeds his own bounds and it takes skilled artists like the ones who have joined him here to give the clearest voice to his vision and stylings. In the end I agree "Dissonance" does make the heart grow fonder. I am an evolving fan!