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Vantomme biography
Dominique Vantomme - Born 1972-07-10 (Deinze, Belgium)

Dominique Vantomme is Belgium based pianist, keyboardist, composer and producer. Originally working as a blues/jazzpianist, he has spent the past 10 years playing with numerous acts in pop, rock and jazz. He has recorded and toured as a pianist, musical director and arranger for artists such as Axelle Red, Ana Popovic, Hindi Zahra, Vaya Con Dios, Viktor Lazlo, Louisiana Red, Theresa Malenfant, An Pierlé. Creating music and sound has always been a constant factor in his life, which has resulted in several records with his bands ROOT and Mahieu-Vantomme Quartet.

Vantomme's newest album as a leader - 'Vegir', released on the progrock label Moonjune Records - unites the unique sounds of bassplayer Tony Levin, Maxime Lenssens on drums and guitarist Michel Delville. "I just couldn't pass out on the opportunity to work with basslegend Tony Levin. I had been traveling the world for the past few months, which inspired me to write a lot of music. When I pitched my vision to Tony, he was happy to join us in the studio. What a thrill it was!," Dominique says.

Vantomme divides his time between performing, recording and teaching jazz piano at the Conservatory in Kortrijk, Belgium.

(From Vantomme's personal webpage)

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3.68 | 9 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vegir by VANTOMME album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.68 | 9 ratings

Vantomme Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions

4 stars It was Tony Levin's involvement that especially piqued my interest in this album. Although being a demanded session musician Dominique Vantomme was unknown to me before I stumbled over this Moonjume Records release from 2018. The same goes to Michel Delville (guitar) and drummer Maxime Lenssens. Fortunately they once met at a Stick Men concert in 2016, and then, hurray, decided to form a music project. Fortunately I also reserved some time to get used to. Instrumental Eclectic Jazz Fusion might be a proper label for this sort of music. Seven songs, round about 60 minutes playing time. Extracted from one sole improv session probably, just close to a blend of SBB, Stephan Thelen, Terje Rypdal, Weather Report for example.

Rather equal minds are in the studio here, are going to design an extraordinary album. Fantastic, each track may be assigned with a specific attribute, for example I'd like to emphasize the melancholy of Double Down, Agent Orange then with its dramaturgy, the turbulence of Playing Chess With Barney Rubble, or the lightness within Emmetropia. Full artistic liberty, spontanity, virtuosity, this also features Canterbury and a lot of psychedelic respectively space rock imprints. Dominique Vantomme rules with his versatile piano, Moog and Mellotron drenched work. 'Vegir' offers highly inspired music, with the result of a sonic treasure really. It took some time to dig deeper, now I know that this is close to a masterpiece of progressive rock, 4.5 stars on the PA scale, at the minimum.

 Vegir by VANTOMME album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.68 | 9 ratings

Vantomme Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Creative, sometimes aggressive, sometimes jazzy fusion from a Belgian keyboard veteran in collaboration with TONY LEVIN, MICHEL DELVILLE, and MAXIME LENSSENS.

1. "Double Down" (7:36) Long keyboard-oriented intro (long intros will turn out to be the rule here rather than the exception) as guitar wails in the background, drums establish sensitive syncopated time keeping and Tony does his Tony-stuff sliding all over the ChapmanStick fretboard. At 3:30 we seem to still be in intro mode; this must be some psychedelia bordering on free jazz, not jazz or structured rock. Interesting from the perspective of the creative performances of the individual virtuosi, but not a great or memorable song. (8/10)

2. "Equal Minds" (10:19) fairly laid-back bluesy-rock with fairly simple and straightforward instrumental performances (especially from drums, bass, and guitar). Keys get a little chance to shine, but fail to impress, in a long solo from the end of the second minute to the beginning of the sixth. Then, in the sixth minute, all song structure releases (drums stop) as synth, guitar, and bass play random anarchy. Cymbals reenter in eight minute before drum restores structure (in a cool way). This is a total shift in the song, much more interesting, playing out till the final minute when spacey entropy again sets in and rules. (8.5/10)

3. "Sizzurp" (10:45) opens with a far more interesting and engaging jazz-rock structure and more straightforward instrumental sounds. The groove established by Lenssens and Leven is quite engaging and allows Delville and Vantomme to add quite some nice stuff--until the big shift at 1:55 into heavier, more frenetic hard rock. Tony loves this, you can tell, while Delville creates noise and Ventomme goes freaky. In the fourth minute the entorpic breakdown even starts to infect and affect the drums and bass. Delville is screaming nonsense while Vantomme's organ provides the only stability. Quiet at 4:30 leads to a restabilization of Lenssens drumming while Delville shreds frenetically over the top. Tony and Dominique are cool and minimal in support, but this is really Michel's time to shine. In the eight minute things quiet down with Tony and Maxime providing the steady but guitar and keys are very loose and intermittent in their contributions. At the end of the ninth minute keys step up to provide textural fullness over Tony and Maxime's steady foundation. This is a cool section--which plays out to the song's end. Some really good stuff, some I could do without. (8.5/10)

4. "Playing Chess With Barney Rubble" (9:04) starts out a little more jazz-oriented, especially in Tony's bass play. The stop and restart at 2:30 leads into a piano-based section which is definitely more founded in jazz sounds and stylings. But then Tony and Michel come in with some rock flourishes. And then Dominque's electric piano takes over. This becomes a truly excellent weave. At the five minute mark Tony gets a little solo before Michel gets a turn. I wish I could get past my distaste for the screechy, buzz-saw-like sound that Michel Delville likes to use with his guitar--and with very little variation. Tony's bass lines are extraodinary (I'm guessing this is a ChapmanStick song--or perhaps his finger extensions)--which is good cuz its the eight minute and I've long ago tuned out the screeching guitar endlessly soloing away. When things get quite in the last minute Tony's finger-extension work becomes obvious. Some stellar parts and some that are rather straightforward electric jazz. (8.5/10)

5. "The Self Licking Ice-cream Cone" (13:08) opens up with much more of a smooth jazz feel. As Dominique's Fender Rhodes enters, it feels LONNIE LISTON SMITH or RAMSEY LEWIS-ish. Tony and Maxime's rhythm tracks are so solid! As Michel's rhythm guitar track starts to get louder I find myself annoyed because it's the same raunchy sound from all the other songs! Luckily it disappears at 4:15 and we are left with the dreamy DEODATO-JOE SAMPLE like scaled- down smooth jazz sounds. But it's all a set up for a guitar solo. Fortunately, this one is more "normal" and therefore, more tolerable. And, fortunately, the work by Tony and Maxime remains stellar. The guitar solo reaches climactic frenzy but then sustains, stays in orgasmic state for well over a minute. The creep-in of Dominique's Fender is the only consolation--leads the listener into believing that relief is on the way. Drums get an awesome solo (despite the fact that the guitar is still screaming) in the eleventh minute before relinquishing control back to the keys and a full-band meld for a final minute of enjoyable music. Again, this is so hard to rate when the song has such highs and lows. (9/10)

6. "Plutocracy" (4:38) eerie, wobbly notes mixed with industrial sounds open this one before two guitars takeover. What feels like an intro goes on for almost two minutes before drums come in and band establishes a flowing structure. electric guitar takes on the lead from a back right position--kind of Middle Eastern scales. Tony is given a solo for most of the fourth minute till the end: very keyboard-like. (8.5/10)

7. "Agent Orange" (9:46) opens as a Tony Levin solo with spacey keyboard support. At 2:48 Tony's play begins to establish a patterned structure (while still displaying godly flourishes) as the rest of the band enters and begins a slow process of gelling around him. Still, this is all Tony. Bass players take note: this is what the Supreme God of bass-playing has to show you. Once again, we are schooled! Though the structure remains a little loose and spacey (reminding me a lot of songs from STOMU YAMASHT'A's GO studio and live sessions. For some reason the sound given Tony's bass either becomes fuzzy/distorted or is being drowned out by the combination of fuzzy/distorted keyboards and guitar (9.25/10)

8. "Emmetropia" (9:00) kind of free form music--not even sure if any of the players are tuned into or aware of what the others are doing. (7/10)

9. "Odin's Wig" (1:54) angular, disconnected sound check music. (3/5)

3.5 stars; interesting free jazz noodling by four virtuosi but probably not everyone's cup of tea.

 Vegir by VANTOMME album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.68 | 9 ratings

Vantomme Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars An enigmatic experience!

Once again I want to thank Leonardo Pavkovic for introducing me to musicians with huge talent that had not crossed my ears before. This time is Dominique Vantomme, a Belgian musician who (from what I've read) has dedicated big part of his life to music, being piano his main weapon. He shares credits in this new album with Michel Delville and Maxime Lenssens, two countrymen, and also with the legendary Tony Levin. The four men create here a quite enigmatic album that spreads the likes of jazz, electronic soundscapes with some psych nuances and rock. It is an instinctive record in which improvisation has the baton, so the four are free to explore each other's intentions.

Though (in my opinion) is a bit long and maybe not easy to dig, once you are into it, the music will do the rest. Eight mid-to-long tracks give us that opportunity to explore different musical routes in one single album in which the four musicians are equally important but under Vantonne's direction. Since the opener 'Double Down' we can embrace those infinite textures that may take us back to the 70's but with the experimental heart of improvs from this current millennium. 'Equal Minds' starts with a soft jazzy-spacey sound, very relaxing. After a couple of minutes the mini-moog enters in a soft way, but its presence is very noticeable. The psych spirit here is evident and will take you into a satisfying trip that has an explosive ending.

All the songs have a complete different sound, an example is 'Sizzurp'. Great drums making the rhythm while keyboards create a sound alike to theremin that puts a kind of sinister sound. Then it completely changes, becoming much rockier and experimental. You don't really know what comes next, the band keeps surprising you while the seconds pass, and that's great! In fact, I am far from describing the whole track's length, it is better if you discover it and create your own verdict. In 'Playing Chess with Barney Rubble' we listen to Levin's bass as the main character, with a somber atmosphere and unstoppable drums, then keyboards enter here and there and thee four musicians take off to different places but land in the same ground. There is a totally jazzy part here, and then with the changes you are still part of a trip to unknown lands.

'The Self-Licking Ice Cream Come' is the longest track and I believe here the band decided to develop the jazziest groove of them all, I mean, in the 13 minutes we can enjoy different changes, but the jazz essence will overtake the sound. Vantomme's solos are also wonderful, and better when it opens the gates for Delville to share also some. 'Plutocracy' is an interesting song with an experimental sound that blends rock with electronic music, flirting even with new-age. There is a dark feeling in some moments and a blast of energy lost in the air, you decide whether to catch it or not.

'Agent Orange' opens with Levin's stick and it is impossible not to remember some Crimson passages. Then the other musicians join and start building new textures and creating a dark atmosphere, maybe some chaos lives there, but it will end sooner than later. The album finishes with 'Emmetropia' has a slow start but little by little the musicians develop new atmospheres; you might feel lost in some moments, but then you will find a comfortable place to stay. In fact, I think this could happen in the whole album because their freedom to improv and create countless atmospheres will transmit you different feelings.

A very interesting jam indeed, yet another positive experience with the Moonjune family. Check it out!

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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