Guitarist Samo Salamon has shown, through his recordings, that he is capable of pushing boundaries. His instrument is the wellspring for ideas that manifest themselves in his compositions that traverse various genres. His playing is luminous and harmonically rich, driven by the clarity of his ideas. Salamon also continues to mature as a writer. His compositions here are not only saturated with appealing melodies, they are also fertile ground for improvisation.
The number of members in Salamon's bands varies. For him, size does not matter as this CD, pared down to his European Trio, proves. Roberto Dani and Michel Godard not only add to the intimacy of the music, they bring in an unabashed sense of adventure as well.
Godard takes the tuba out of the realm of a rhythm instrument on several tracks to play the melody and to add his own twists and turns. He evokes "Hebe" with hymnal reverence, the grace of his approach enlivened by Dani shimmering on the cymbals. The tempo then gets hotter, the tune dancing on the ebullient notes of Salamon's guitar. The context has been transformed, placid terrain morphing into one charged with raw energy.
"Kei's Secret" is a beautiful ballad, the theme developed without diverging into tangents. It may be straight ahead in concept and execution, but it shows how the trio can cleave to and develop an idea with unerring empathy raising the emotional stakes to a high level.
Salamon sets up "Miss Sarcasm" with some call and response with Godard and Dani. He then lets loose with some blues drenched notes as he gets to the edge of heavy metal. The transformation of the tune is as thrilling as it is logical.
Shape and form are not static. By investing his music with a lode of interesting concepts, Salamon continues to be a forceful presence.
Personnel: Samo Salamon: guitar; Roberto Dani: drums; Michel Godard: tuba (1, 2, 4, 8, 9), electric bass (2, 3, 5-7, 10).