Monday, January 31, 2022

Dom Minasi, Me Myself and I


Dom Minasi has inside-outside depth, flexibility and a beautiful approach to the improvised guitar possibility. Any regular reader of the page has seen my reviews of his albums. Here we are in the new year and there is another fine one out that is sure to please the guitar loving world. It is called Me Myself and I (Unseen Rain, Bandcamp).

There are nine righteously vibrant originals in the program, featuring Dom on six and twelve string acoustic guitars, overdubbed so that a chordal underpinning sets things up for the fine soloing that recurs throughout. Unlike the majority of Dom's recent releases this one is more rooted in the straight-ahead, changes-based style that marked his first records. And that is fine because he is a unique guitar voice either way.

These new compositions are really well done and the improvs give us pause, pleasure, and much to savor. It is undoubtedly one of the nicest guitar albums I've heard in a while. Take a listen, dive in! Highly recommended.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Cameron Mizell & Charlie Rauh, Local Folklore


There is a wild and wonderful musical world that continues on regardless of things that challenge our everyday world. Today there is a fine example in the recent album Local Folklore (Destiny Records DR-0040), which is a series of captivating duets by Cameron Mizell on acoustic and electric guitar and Charlie Rauh on acoustic guitar. 

The program consists of ten originals by Charlie or Cameron. They are marked nicely by bright and lyrically moving chord changes and effective soloing on top of it all along with set melodic elements at times--to my ears. Early Pat Metheny comes to mind as a precursor to this kind of thing, yet nonetheless this is on firmly original ground in itself.

The album title Local Folklore is somewhat telling, for the music has something of a folkish quality--in its consistent earthiness that with some additions might be the underpinning of some singer-songwriter or country ditty of a while back, and like Gary Burton and Metheny there manages to be a Jazz emanation all rolled into the sequences.

The guitar work generally divides into a chording underpinning and a guitar solo of a melodic and improvisatorially distinct element on top. I've long appreciated Charlie Rauh's work in the past and also liked what I have heard of Cameron Mizell (type their names in the search box above for reviews). And it so happens that they are so locked into a way of doing the music that they complement one another, rather exceptionally so. 

It is a music that brings a smile to your face if you are like me. There is real artistry here and a lyrical bright sunshine feeling that furnishes a happy sequence of tones and sequences. I give kudos here for these two. Strongly, happily recommended.