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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Blaise Siwula and Dom Minasi - The Sunshine Don't Mind My Singing(Nacht, 2014) ****

By Paul Acquaro

The Sunshine Don't Mind My Singing by guitarist Dom Minasi and woodwind player Blaise Siwula is an effortless conversation between musicians who have their positions and points of view and enjoy making them. A confidence exudes from their playing and a camaraderie really comes through in their interactions, all in all, it adds up to a delightful recording for us listeners. 

The recording starts out with 'Bird Mixology', and it's an ology that pervades the entire recording as the unobtrusive chirp of birds provide a sonic backdrop to the playing in the foreground.  Siwula's clarinet is bright and present as he swoops and dives around Minasi's sweeping and plucking. Minasi's tone is clean and dry, and his playing - be it a burst of scales, a flurry chords, or a reflective melody - bristles with life. 

'Ballad for Miss-begotten' is an album highlight and shows how a duo can be much bigger sounding than two instruments. Old-timey blues permeates the start of the title track, with Siwula grabbing the spotlight with an evocative trills and slurs on the clarinet. Minasi accompanies with everything from the sounds of scratched strings to his (must-be) patented melodic clusters of notes.

The Sunshine Don't Mind My Singing is a real nice array of songs showcasing many ideas and styles. The overall sound is refined and comfortable, assured and precise. My initial concern was that the bird sounds on the first track would continue as a theme throughout ... and they do ... but their sound become a part of the sonic background and indeed, they too don't mind the singing.