Samo Salamon has been influenced by several kinds of music, including classical. While composers like Bartok and Messiaen ignite his imagination, the guitarist can also cut a swath out of rock, feed it into his compositions, and get the whole to fit in the thick of modern jazz. The blend often makes for compelling listening.
A couple of tunes here owe their ambit to Bill Frisell. Of these, "When We Go Away finds Salamon getting into open-ended improvisation, then settling down to unfurl a quick melodic infusion. The notes of his guitar fall in a swell that careens into the overdrive of heavy metal. Yet the feedback settles into a solo of considerable melodic strength, technique and, importantly, creativity. At the other end of the scale comes "The Girl With a Nicotine Kiss, whose warm cloak of emotion is unfurled gently by Achille Succi's clarinet, while Salamon is content adding pastel shades in the background.
The quartet pulls out all the stops on "Catch the Train, which is marked by a constant pulsing attack, a tumultuous vigour, and changes in direction that can shift gear on a single note. It begins with the rumble of Carlo DeRosa's bass, and as he continues to let the bottom roil, Succi moves in at a slower pace on the alto saxophone. He soon accelerates the tempo, and when the softer permutations come in, Salamon's limpid notes lighten the texture, but not the impact.
Salamon turns in a comprehensive performance on "Miss Sarcasm. Here again, nothing is static: the tune evolves constantly from bop to free expression. Succi's aggressive blowing does not forsake the extension of the melody, Sorey stokes the rhythm with fervour, and Salamon opens an introspective vent that lets in a gush of harmonic invention as he stretches out in bop mode.
Salamon lets his music speak in several tongues. In doing so, he does not forsake logic or cohesion. As a guitarist, he lets insight hatch improvisation. Together they make for a winning combination.
When We Go Away; Catch the Train; The Return to X-Land; Miss Sarcasm; Kei
Achille Succi: alto saxophone, bass clarinet, clarinet; Samo Salamon: guitar; Carlo DeRosa:
bass; Tyshawn Sorey: drums.
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