Samo Salamon Quartet: Ornethology (2003)
A musical convergence between Ornette Coleman, Slovenia and John Scofield doesn't figure high in any jazz critic's list of music to look for. Although not exhaustive, the previous three parameters of understanding, however, do serve as guidelines for Ornethology. Leader Samo Salamon is also a figure of note in the Ansasa Trio . Following the leader isn't this release's game, though. The material is autonomously arranged, or freely coordinated if you may. Hence, the need for musicians versed and musically savvy, not only on various jazz forms, but also in their respective scholarly and folk musical training. They shine through on all regards interpreting a highly contemporary repertoire that has swing and blues inevitably embedded in its organized jazz free forms.
As a guitarist, the Slovenian young player features intensive technique that bodes well for material (mostly of his penmanship), inspired by the study of the Texan's key Atlantic recordings. Although admittedly predisposed towards Scofield, Salamon asserts himself through such influenceas well as Coleman'scoming through on his own, using singular single note, chords, and ideas rendering various jazz undercurrents with resolve, depth and inventiveness. Never indulgent, disciplined and eager, Salamon is major league material.
The writing is curiously versatile, although conceptually coherent, even during the briefer pieces peppered through to highlight each player by himself. None lasts even two minutes, all are worthy endeavors. "Jaka The Dog" begins with percussive/cymbal aquatic splashes, segueing into a woodsier run by Zlatko Kaucic. Bassist Salvatore Maiore arched the rough and vibrating "Major Salva." Salamon plays around with various textures and sci-fi like effects in "Samoel," while clarinetist and saxophonist Achille Succi floatingly laments his alto on "Achille." Brevity, however, doesn't limit the extension of the rest of the material, which varies in texture, nature, tempo shifts, thematic development, as well as duration itself. The quartet keeps matters interesting and moving.
The sonic personality provided by the partial use of bass clarinet, balanced on the other end with alto sax on other compositions, provides rare harmonic gifts. Evident in the opener, and revealing yet another convergence in its title, it is also a fine soloing medium. "Where's the Bill," "Something Ology," and "Humpty Dumpty" respectively lure the listener with modern jazz, be bop and swing into the freer world of this remarkable quartet. Since the group has also performed the material with Gianluca Petrella performing on trombone, although not represented in the recording, one must wonder how the repertoire responds to such an adaptation. Jazz critics, however, ought to add this one to their "To Do" lists...
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Track Listing: 1. A Fake Monk (Salamon) 2. Alien Child (Salamon) 3. Alien Child (Salamon) 4. The Creative Force (Salamon) 5. Does Your Girlfriend Know You Play Free Jazz? (Salamon/Succi/Maiore/ Kaucic) 6. Out For A Walk (Salamon) 7. Uncork The Bottle (Salamon/Succi/Maiore/Kaucic) 8. Where's The Bill? (Salamon) 9. Achille (Succi) 10. Two Poles (Salamon) 11. Major Salva (Maiore) 12. Something Ology (Salamon) 13. Samoel (Salamon) 14. Tribeca (Salamon) 15. Jaka The Dog (Kaucic) 16. Humpty Dumpty (Coleman) 17. Aguri--The Birthday Party (Salamon/Succi/Maiore/Kaucic)
Personnel: Samo Salamon: Guitar. Zlatko Kaucic: Drums, Percussion. Achille Succi: Alto Sax, Bass Clarinet. Salvatore Maiore: Bass.
Record Label: SAZAS
Style: Modern Jazz