3

Samo Salamon: 2Alto

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Slovenian guitarist Samo Šalamon is ever the intrepid adventurer of modern music. With each release he explores new sonic textures and harmonic ideas. The 2014 2 Alto on Steeplechase is no different. Šalamon combines his polyphonic guitar-work with the contrasting and complementary sounds of saxophonists Loren Stillman and John O'Gallagher and the propulsive beats of frequent collaborator, drummer Roberto Dani to create a delightful variety of abstract soundscapes.

On the cinematic "Man of Mystery" for instance Šalamon enhances the reverberations of his strings with haunting special effects as he launches into a free flowing, agile solo. Stillman and O'Gallagher follow alternating hypnotic refrains while Dani's drum kit thunders. Out of these funk infused motifs emerges a dramatic and provocative spontaneous group conversation.

O'Gallagher's dry, crisp tone and Stillman's looser more fluid lines often fuse to create intriguingly complex dialogues such as on "Monder Bag." The classically influenced tune showcases their divergent yet well matched improvisational approaches. Their intense and lyrical duet highlights perfectly their respective individuality as well as their sublime camaraderie stemming from the shared influence of the innovative alto saxophonist Lee Konitz.

Stillman and O'Gallagher also engage in intricately constructed and passionate extemporizations on the expansive and impressionistic "Imperfections." Šalamon's angular and lithe phrases and Dani's percolating rhythmic flourishes push the piece further left, flirting with the Avant-Garde, without surrendering its melodic core.

This type of thrilling evolution from the mainstream to freer styles also appears elsewhere on the record. For example on the rocking "Mr. Cynical" Šalamon's blistering; bluesy guitar and Dani's furious rumble deconstruct the main theme as they ingeniously expand its boundaries towards stimulating atonality. O'Gallagher and Stillman keep the momentum going and the ambience taut with their respective turns in the spotlight.

Yet again Šalamon has found a way to make a totally original statement with this engaging and superbly unique album. His restless and bold creative spirit and his impeccable musicianship both as a composer and performer is what makes him one of the most singularly exceptional jazz musicians to come out of the European scene.

Track Listing: Fairytale; Monder Bag; Mr. Cynical; Second Rain; Flux of Silver; Winter Ponds; Man of Mystery; Moonless; Imperfections; Snail Road.

Personnel: Samo Salamon: guitar; Loren Stillman: alto saxophone; John O'Gallagher: alto saxophone; Roberto Dani: drums.

Title: 2Alto | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Steeplechase Lookout

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Nantucket

Nantucket

Samo Salamon
Little River

Ice Storm

Ice Storm

Samo Salamon
Stretching Out

Ducks On Ice

Ducks On Ice

Samo Salamon
Eleven Stories

Blistering

Blistering

Samo Salamon
Duality

Lastovo

Lastovo

Samo Salamon
Almost Almond

Miss Sarcasm

Miss Sarcasm

Samo Salamon
Live!

Radio
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Free Sessions, Vol. 2: Freequestra

Free Sessions, Vol....

Klopotec Records
2019

buy
Swirling Blind Unstilled

Swirling Blind...

Klopotec Records
2019

buy
Traveling Moving Breathing

Traveling Moving...

Clean Feed Records
2018

buy
Pure Magic

Pure Magic

Alessa Records Jazz & Art
2018

buy
Peaks of Light

Peaks of Light

Samo Records
2018

buy
Planets of Kei

Planets of Kei

Not Two Records
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read Czech Wishes Album Reviews
Czech Wishes
By Troy Dostert
July 23, 2019
Read More Arriving Album Reviews
More Arriving
By Gareth Thompson
July 23, 2019
Read Wschod Album Reviews
Wschod
By Don Phipps
July 23, 2019
Read Wonderment Album Reviews
Wonderment
By Mike Jurkovic
July 23, 2019
Read Terra Incognita Album Reviews
Terra Incognita
By Karl Ackermann
July 22, 2019
Read Bedroom Tapes Album Reviews
Bedroom Tapes
By John Bricker
July 22, 2019
Read Calenture and Light Leaks Album Reviews
Calenture and Light Leaks
By Don Phipps
July 22, 2019