333

Samo Salamon: Government Cheese

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Samo Salamon: Government Cheese It might be easy to imagine two entirely different reactions to guitarist Samo Salamon's latest, very fine effort Government Cheese.

The first, coming from someone who has not heard him before, might center around the angular, distortion tinged guitar, the driving near-rock rhythms and the wide variety of emotions that whiplash the listener.

The second, coming from someone who is familiar with at least his last two releases Two Hours (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2006) and Kei's Secret (Splasc(H) Records, 2006) might be the whiplash from above, but now because this album sounds so different, yet again. After recovering however, the angular, edgy, and at times manic playing, can be recognized as being Salamon.

Bringing together a new set of musicians (save for bassist Mark Helias, who returns from Two Hours), Salamon presents us with another facet of his rapidly developing compositional prowess. Increasing the forces to a quintet with the wildcard choice of trombone, played by Josh Roseman, the music veers between the extremely tough ("Eat The Monster"), the extremely tender ("The Last Goodbye"), those bringing in other culture's rhythms ("It Rains When It Falls" and "How They Washed My Brain") and others that vary widely within themselves, particularly "Her Name."

Salamon goes out of his way in the liner notes to credit saxophonist David Binney's influence. Binney is making waves in increasingly wide circles, as one can hear on Miles Okazaki's Mirror, and Government Cheese bears his mark, if less overtly than in the former record. In fact, Binney's playing on the record has less of the floating ignoring of the bar line that might be called his trademark, and more of the rapid fire sinewy lines.

Drummer Gerald Cleaver takes advantage of the way Salamon writes and becomes another voice in the band rather than an adept pulse keeper. He really listens and reacts to what is happening, adding his own comments to the conversation. Much of the success of the total sound of the record is due to the way Helias and Cleaver push and pull the band.

Most of the tunes have a stretched ABA structure which is only made more noticeable by the quite different "Her Name," which is the outstanding track on the record as it morphs through a few rhythmic feels over its nine minutes.

While Kei's Secret was an extremely hot live album, Government Cheese almost matches it as a studio effort, and this band would burn live. Certainly the trio of recent projects presents varied impressions of Salamon, but through it all, his voice is recognizable. Recommended.


Track Listing: How They Washed My Brain; The Bee and the Knee; Her Name; Eat the Monster; It Rains When it Falls; The Last Goodbye; Up and Down.

Personnel: Samo Salamon: guitar; Dave Binney: alto saxophone; Josh Roseman: trombone; Mark Helias: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
Bill Frisell Bill Frisell
guitar
John Scofield John Scofield
guitar
Chris Potter Chris Potter
reeds
Adam Rogers Adam Rogers
guitar
Gary Burton Gary Burton
vibraphone
Greg Osby Greg Osby
saxophone
Brad Shepik Brad Shepik
guitar

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Andando el Tiempo" CD/LP/Track Review Andando el Tiempo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 26, 2016
Read "Close Enough" CD/LP/Track Review Close Enough
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "We Live Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Live Here
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Young" CD/LP/Track Review Young
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "1954" CD/LP/Track Review 1954
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!