Iranian born American guitarist and composer Ahmad Mansour attended Berklee College of music in the early eighties, also studying with John Abercrombie, Mick Goodrick and Ritchie Beirach before moving to New York City in 1986, performing and recording with many of the city's best musicians. Tours and CD releases have earned critical acclaim from both sides of the Atlantic. In nine previous recordings as a leader over the past 20 years, Ahmad Mansour has distinguished himself as a leading light of modern jazz guitar on the New York and European music scenes. His past outings like 1993's Penumbra, 2002's Nightlight and last year's Short Cuts garnered rave reviews from critics worldwide who praised his harmonic sophistication and dazzling single note facility. But while his earlier records were often steeped in ECM-ish mystique and sublime lyricism, Mansour's latest -- the live Public Domain -- is bristling with an adventurous spirit of risk-taking and discovery that he had only hinted at in the past. If jazz is the sound of surprise, then this is jazz with a capital 'J'. Joined by fellow daredevils and audacious improvisers Stomu Takeishi on 5-string electric bass and Ted Poor on drums -- two ubiquitous figures on New York's creative downtown music scene -- Mansour explores some rather open-ended, outre territory in this live performance. And the results are often scintillating, underscored by an uncanny bandstand chemistry that allows for some heightened moments of collective improvisation along the way. As Ahmad points out, 'I've been working toward this more open-ended approach for a while now. It's a natural concept that's been developing for me over the last couple of years. I'm going more and more towards a free approach, but still trying to make it listenable and audience-oriented; not free in the sense of free jazz, but free in the sense that a lot of the pieces allow any sort of approach by the musicians.' He adds, 'I've done several records that emphasize a more traditional approach to jazz harmony, and I sort of got tired of that. I just became interested in going somewhere else with the music, towards less and less structured pieces. And I wanted this record to reflect this new direction.' Mansour and his highly interactive trio create music that is at once compelling and provocative, edgy and at times hauntingly beautiful. With minimal rehearsal time and a handful of Ahmad's rough sketches to go on, they hit the stage with a no-holds-barred attitude, intent on pushing the envelope while shaping the music strictly in the moment. Bill Milkowski, April 2005 Bill Milkowski is a regular contributor to Jazz Times and Jazziz magazines in the States. He was named Writer of the Year for 2004 by the Jazz Journalists Association and is also the author of 'JACO: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius' (Backbeat Books) I've listened to and written extensively about Strats and Strat players and have to congratulate you on having made the sound from such a univerally recorded guitar uniquely yours. This is great music and a lesson for guitarists who want to fault the instrument for always sounding the same. Tom Watson, Modern Guitars Magazine.