It takes some guts to pay tribute to the most advanced pianist ever on a guitar, which is an inadequate means under several aspects (and, especially, in certain hands). But Dom Minasi – a devotee of Taylor’s art who has been pursuing free-form music for three decades – did it. Consciously, in terms of intention; much less as far as the involvement of the mind during the creative act is concerned. The fruits of this process are four improvisations performed without the aid of effects: a straightforward clean tone was the timbral choice for this homage.
Minasi is the first to advise that “there is a limited audience for this music”. Furthermore, a guitarist is usually subjected to severe scrutiny by his/her peers, who pick anything they believe to know about the instrument’s peculiarities and “defects”, and mercilessly point them out instead of relishing the core of what’s being proposed. This is an error that should be avoided while tackling Remembering Cecil. It’s an album that focuses on the spirit; ostentatious fastidiousness is entirely absent. Make no mistake, Minasi can play. It’s not anyone’s fault if a piano allows a better control on the lingering resonance of the open strings, one of the most annoying features of a guitar throughout an improvisational flux. One has to use what is available, and work around that.
The job was done with indubitable passion besides the obvious respect for the dedicatee. Personally speaking, this writer perceived more Minasi than Taylor (a compliment, for me). Again, what counts in analogous circumstances is the anima; in that regard, this record must be definitely taken into serious consideration. It only remains to be seen how an average listener might be enticed into this type of offering; on the other hand, I remember with shame half a theatre walking away from a Taylor concert in Rome a lifetime ago, someone throwing derisive noises at the group as they were leaving.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of evolution.