Samo Salamon & Aljosa Jeric Quartet: Mamasaal feat. Mark Turner (2009)
Salamon has an extraordinary sense for dynamics that triggers his craft as a guitarist. He finds tangents and angles, the straight path and the curve, which he embellishes with elegant chords. He has an able cohort in Mark Turner, whose daring is never out of focus as he turns ideas around and gives them a concrete presence.
Four of the tunes on this CD were written by drummer Aljosa Jeric, the rest by Salamon. The compositions leave room for the band to extend the parameters and bring in that extra bit of surprise to elevate the music.
"High Heels" is an amalgam of styles. Turner is open-ended, letting loose several lines on the tenor and then providing a cohesive reason for them. Salamon lets bebop cast its light on his melodic impressions. He fashions them in glowing runs, as he drinks deep from his well of ideas.
"Night Thoughts" is an instant attention grabber. Turner ruminates on the haunting melody and Salamon lets it capture his deliberations. The mood is enhanced by Jeric, who caresses the rhythm with his brushes, and by bassist Matt Brewer whose solo is a capsule of invention that does not dent the framework and ruin it.
A flexible pulse marks "Make the Duck Sound" and gives each musician the leeway to direct the composition into his own realm. Turner is again at the forefront, the head of the navigators as he fathoms the path with pithy phrases and swift turn of meter. Salamon takes it all in another direction with limber swing. It's a neat surprise and sits in well.
The quartet plays with a sensitivity for time and space and in doing so make an appealing invitation for a well deserved listen.
Track Listing: Flying Serpents; High Heels; Little Eva; Night Thoughts; Internal Affairs; Pale But Beautiful; Make the Duck Sound; Elephants On Holidays; Happy Girl; The Shy One.
Personnel: Mark Turner: tenor sax; Samo Salamon: guitar; Matt Brewer: bass; Aljosa Jeric: drums.
Record Label: Dometra
Style: Modern Jazz