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Samo Salamon: Dances Of Freedom

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Samo Salamon: Dances Of Freedom
Slovenian guitarist Samo Salamon released a top-ten-of-the-year masterpiece CD in 2022, Dolphyolgy: Complete Eric Dolphy For Solo Guitar (Samo Records). On this tribute to the late reedman who was always an unconventional, free-flying artist, Salamon examined every composition in the Dolphy songbook. Dolphy for guitar was a surprise and certainly must have been a challenge. Salamon rose to it with an improvisatory zeal and affection for the reedman's work.

The guitarist expands his palette in 2024 with Dances of Freedom. Employing a trio—with Vasil Hadzimanov on keyboards and piano, and Burton Greene / Damon Smith / Ra Kalam Bob Moses sitting in on drums and percussion—Salamon trades Dolphy's loopy playfulness for a dense, otherworldly ambiance.

Parallels can be drawn between Dances Of Freedom and the work of trumpeter Arve Henriksen with its luminescent keyboard backdrops and the leader's bold lines and embrace of improvisation. All of the tunes are attributed to Salamon, Hadzimanov and Moses, so the bet is that this is either completely or, at least mostly, improvised. Freshness, vivacity and the joy of creation seem to be the plan of that day in the studio. If it can be called ambient, it is an ambiance with a focus and energy often lacking in music that fits into the genre. Moses' drums often drive the momentum; Hadzimanov's' keyboards craft an engaging "spaciness" factor, and Salamon's guitars—and an occasional banjo—give the sound a "folk music in the Twilight Zone" vibe.

Rhythms shift, moodiness trades places with exuberance. Gentle cacophonies unfold, percussion pelts down like raindrops on a tin roof and distant thunder rumbles as Hadzimanov supplies cool brisk wind and Salamon's guitar issues—sometimes in slow motion, sometimes in real time—tight guitar string lightning strikes.

Track Listing

Cream Of Ocean; Free Dances; Ocean Calimba; Dirty Zone; Conga; Morphbed; Pans; Indian Base; Hapi May.

Personnel

Samo Salamon
guitar, electric
Bob Moses
drums

Album information

Title: Dances Of Freedom | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Samo Records


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