Hemmersam and Dom Minasi are guitarists with very different
backgrounds, Minasi with roots in New York and Hemmersam
in Denmark. When they met in1994, both of them admit
to being blown away by each other's capabilities, and
formed a friendship that continues to the present day.
After some back and forth discussions, it was agreed
that one day they would unite and create a project together.
The end result is one hell of an album credited to The
Jon Hemmersam/Dom Minasi Quartet (CDM), featuring Ken
Filiano on double bass and Kresten Osgood on drums.
A lot of people tend to think that when you have two
musicians who play the same instrument, uniting for
a session, it's nothing but an ego-fest, only being
done for the sake of competitive stroking. That is definitely
not the case here, although one can't help but think
there was a little bit of happy competitiveness not
to outdo the other, but to test each other's limits
to see how far they could pull off the music. Both Hemmersam
and Minasi play with the same fluidity as a Pat Martino
but also will not hesitate to branch off into their
own abstract worlds in the vein of late 60's/early 70's
Larry Coryell or John McLaughlin. "Conclusions"
has both of them talking to each other in some six-string
Morse code as Filiano and Osgood talk to each other
in their own time signature, all of them trying to come
up with their own conclusions before finding a way out
of the same room together. It can sound very scattered,
but what makes this work is hearing them and knowing
they're eventually going to get to the same place at
the same time at some point in the song. With the next
song they both take their significant other for a walk
in the park with the smoothed out "Inside Out",
which oddly enough is anything but. What you have here
is that edginess of a lot of New York-based artists,
and an abrasiveness that can often be found in a lot
of European jazz, one that is very different from the
American brand. Yet it's jazz, one that is both traditional
and free when they want to be, and these guys are very
capable of going all out in the free department. When
they want to surftheir inner ambitions, it's all about
heavy tube action and reaching for the lip knowing it's
the goal but constantly moving away from it so that
sreaching the goal becomes more satisfying than the
goal itself. When they relax and contemplate life, love,
and sound, it's one of the best things you've ever heard.
The CD by The Jon Hemmersam/Dom Minasi Quartet will
be released on September 1st.