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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samo Salamon: 2Alto

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2014 has already been a productive year for Slovenian guitarist Samo Salamon. Earlier this year, Salamon released the ambitious Orchestrology where he recorded with strings and now comes an album with focus on the sound of alto saxophones. 2Alto finds the guitarist in the familiar company of drummer Roberto Dani, who also played on Orchestrology. The new faces this time are the alto saxophonists Loren Stillman and John O'Gallagher. Salamon wrote new music, specifically with these master stylists in mind, and the result is a true feast of contrapuntal playing that revives the legacy of saxophonists Lee ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samo Salamon & The Slovene Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra: Free Strings: Orchestrology

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Slovenian guitarist Samo Šalamon has to be one of the most versatile and restlessly explorative musicians active today. His 2013 collaboration with The Slovene Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra, Free Strings: Orchestrology sheds light on his superb compositional skills as he leads the ensemble in interpreting thirteen of his originals. An overall cinematic atmosphere permeates the record with each individual track containing a cohesive narrative that ranges from the expansive to the intimate. The dramatic “Dutilleux" opens with the sweeping strings alternating with Šalamon and drummer Roberto Dani's tense vamps. The resulting expectant mood ushers Šalamon's thick haunting chords, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samo Salamon & The Slovene Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra: Free Strings: Orchestrology

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Slovenian guitarist Samo Salamon is not content to rest on his laurels or enviable chops. His two-CD set, Stretching Out (Sazas, 2013), was a fierce progressive jazz and improvisational implosion featuring his work with US and European quartets. Free Strings: Orchestrology signifies a 360-degree turnaround with a core trio and collaboration with the Slovene Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra, highlighting Janez Podlesek's solo violin passages. Salamon's thirst for exploring variable forms of artistic expression is a multifaceted exposition, combining third stream underpinnings with avant jazz improvisation and a heterogeneous brew, modeled with asymmetrical doses of freedom and convention. Interspersed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samo Salamon & The Slovene Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra: Free Strings: Orchestrology

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It's not a new thing that jazz musicians like to record with strings. Legendary alto saxophonist Charlie Parker lamented the loss of his string section after he had the thrill of touring and recording with strings and fellow saxophonists Stan Getz and Art Pepper both picked an album with strings, Focus (Verve, 1961) and Winter Moon (Galaxy, 1980), respectively, as a career highlight. Some might say that part of the attraction of the use of strings is the credibility it brings from classical music, but it could be argued that classical music needs jazz just as much ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samo Salamon: Stretching Out

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Slovenian master guitarist and composer Samo Šalamon is one of those rare musicians whose versatility is not aimless and his unique, instantly recognizable, style is far from predictable. Both of these characteristics are amply demonstrated on his fourteenth release, the double disc set Stretching Out comprising of two live sessions captured in 2008, and 2012. On the earlier date, Šalamon leads an all American quartet on three of his long and fiery originals that crackle with spontaneity and raw but elegant brio. On “My Rain/Kei's Blues," saxophonist Donny McCaslin lets loose an energetic and organic improvisation that gains ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samo Salamon: Stretching Out

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Cosmopolitan is a term that is often used to describe musicians, but in the case of Slovenian guitarist Samo Salamon, it is certainly a description that fits. Salamon has turned the restless nature of the travelling musician into an aesthetic strategy and has worked with two different quartets that represent his different musical sides: the hip underground of the New York jazz scene and the experimental sensibility of the European avant-garde. Stretching Out is an ambitious double album that offers a full portrait of his working groups. Disc one consists of four compositions played ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samo Salamon Trio: Eleven Stories

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Guitarist Samo Salamon never treads on the same ground twice, but that doesn't mean his bands continually rotate personnel. A quick look at his recorded output, which includes approximately a dozen dates over the past decade, indicates that he does have a fondness for mixing, matching and mingling with different musical associates, but he also has his go-to guys; on Eleven Stories, he opts for familiar faces over fresh ones. Bass-and-tuba man Michel Godard and drummer Roberto Dani have played with Salamon on a regular basis since 2006 and this marks the fourth time they're featured on ...



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