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Samo Salamon: Ives

Hrayr Attarian By

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In addition to being a prolific recording artist, each one of guitarist Samo Salamon's projects is uniquely inventive. Quantity with Salamon is never at the expense of quality. Ives, his fourth release as a leader for the year 2014 is a collaboration with two other guitarists, each with his own distinct style.

Their individualities contrast and complement one another in delightful and elegant patterns in these fourteen, intensely poetic tracks most of them Salamon compositions. On the impressionistic "Seagulls In Maine," for instance Danish guitaristMikkel Ploug's thick, heady strums echo against Frenchman Manu Codjia's resonant, sparse strings while Salamon fills the center with darkly gleaming chimes. The result is surprisingly complex and stirringly cinematic and provocative.

The 3 men also create a harmonic tapestry of sublime lyricism and intriguing, free-flowing narratives by carefully overlapping their original expressions. The Ploug penned "Logicunlogic" features his own eloquent improvisation against Codjia's muscular refrains and Salamon's introspective reverberations. The interplay among the members of the trio, however, is not limited to the traditional roles of a soloist and a supporting cast but passionate and melodic ideas flow seamlessly from one to the other in thrilling and delightfully shimmering exchanges.

Codija's lush "AI Blade" opens with a trio of alternating languid instrumental phrases that form a hypnotic, mellifluous and polyphonic song. Codija flavors the tune with bluesy hints that stand out against Ploug's clean, crisp intonation

Perhaps the most satisfying piece on this stimulating and highly engaging record is "1000 Bears." As each of the musicians climbs up and down the scales the music gradually evolves around Salamon's soulful, ardent monologue. His loosely swaggering lines fade into the background as Codija balances, with simmering funk-infused vamps, Ploug's rock inspired blistering sonic waves.

Salamon and his colleagues exhibit exceptional camaraderie that underscores their shared creative vision. The resulting record is simultaneously intimate and expansive, emotive and cerebral and another gem in Salamon's oeuvre

Track Listing: Ives (take 1); Devil's Darling; Barren; 1000 Bears (Short Version); There's a Gheko In the House; Perplexity 1; Seagulls In Maine; Ives (take 2); Kei's Secret Revealed; Al Blade; 1000 Bears (Long Version); Duo; Logicunlogic; Perplexity 2.

Personnel: Samo Salamon: guitar (center); Manu Codjia: guitar (left); Mikkel Ploug: guitar (right).

Title: Ives | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Samo Records

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