Jon Hemmersam/Dom Minaso Quartet

Jon 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.