The album “Dream Field” is the combination of producer Domino Grey and multi-instrumentalist Donna S. The two came together to create music that is Jazz-Hop in spirit. The album which contains 11 tracks includes “A New World” from the Butterfly Affect series which is given new treatment, as Donna S. adds her touch, as well as the bonus “Melody Diagnosis” from the Back In The Black release. This is neither pure jazz nor hardcore hip-hop but rather an extension of the two. In other words, this is quite simply an inspired album. The sax from Donna S is sharp, sexy, lyrical and creative, while Domino Grey is as musical as his ever have been on the boards and keys.
“Dream Field” is a real high-water mark in the electronic, hip-hop and jazz instrumental crossover field, one that doesn’t seem under any real threat of being surpassed for a little while. Different themes and tempos come together in this urban quilt of jazz-hop textures to make this one of my favorite Domino Grey albums. If you like a groove, but prefer the kind of sophisticated cool you can play even for your parents over the hard core you only listen to when you’re in full party mode, “Dream Field” is for you.
For whatever reason most jazz-hop albums fail but this one works, and I think it’s because of the sax, which as opposed to voice, has a sweeter, rounder, more inviting sound. Thus being less alienating, no matter which side of jazz-hop, you’re coming from. This blend is at its finest here, being inventive, original and in your face, while showcasing both ‘street-based’ and introspective tunes. The album opener “Stylus Grande” takes fusion to another level with an amazing rhythmic groove and some straight Sax hooks.
It’s on track 3 – “Magic King”, that Donna S breaks free with some serious phrasing while Domino Grey turns up the sound effects. From there on out, the two turn up the heat and the tempo on “Hold Them Off A Little While”. “Fade Distorts” fuses some intense sax lines with beats, samples, instruments and what sounds like some direct voices talking from the studio, into some eclectic lounge loving jazz.
The formula for the most part works extremely well. Donna S blends really well with these jazz-hop-centered beats. And nowhere does she shine much brighter with some thrusty melodic blowing than on, “Top Floor Moorings”, which runs over a straight driving beat by Domino Grey. “A New World” is a more of the same ear candy, but percussively aggrandized with respect to the previous track.
However it’s not the genre-fusion in itself that makes this such a great album; it’s the way in which it is fused that is impressive; “Abstraction Layers” and “Melody Diagnosis” proves the case in point. Domino brings in the most disparate electronic and organic sounds to cook in his musical melting-pot on this album. I don’t think anybody has done a better jazz-hop ‘fusion’ job than this so far. “Dream Field” is a far cry from the nonsense which passes as music in the mainstream culture. This album encapsulates the essence of music itself: creativity, passion, skill – it is amazing, and so are its primary interpreters, Domino Grey and Donna S.