207

Samo Salamon: Nano

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Samo Salamon: Nano With the virtually simultaneous release of the intriguingly delightful Nano and Fall Memories (Splasc(H), 2007), guitarist Samo Salamon brings forth his European Quartet. A true jazzman of the world, his projects have included musicians and attitudes taken from both sides of the Atlantic, resembling the older Gebhard Ullmann.

Salamon's three previous releases—Two Hours (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2006), Kei's Secret (Splasc(H) Records, 2006) and Government Cheese (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2007)—used predominantly American musicians, with each one breaking new ground.

Salamon uses virtuouso tubaist Michel Godard and drummer Roberto Dani on both Nano and Fall Memories, while the fourth spot goes to reedman Julian Arguelles on the former and accordionist Luciano Biondini on the latter.

Unusual instrumentation to be sure, and Nano lacks any chordal instrument when Salamon is soloing, further increasing the control needed to make coherent music. This challenge demonstrates Salamon's continued growth as a composer and arranger, as each album differs in the musical problems it solves.

Despite the varying sounds from album to album, the music remains immediately identifiable in construction as Salamon's, besides his own recognizable playing style. On Nano, the music's texture is light, airy and flowing as each instrument's line manages to sound both independent and a structured part of the whole. Salamon leaves the distortion behind, using a thinner tone that blends with and surrounds the other instruments.

Dani and Godard, playing as the rhythm section, are magnificent as they fill as many roles as needed. The drumming is light and supple, providing a pulse when necessary without becoming overbearing, while always supplying a percussive voice. Godard's tuba work is revelatory as he lays down the bass line at one moment only to become a voice filling out a choir harmony at another, only to switch to melodic counterpoint, then blowing with a joyous freedom, free of any limitations of his instrument.

Arguelles, playing mostly soprano saxophone, fulfills the dual role of soloist and melodic harmonist with Godard. He fits in perfectly, helping to shape the music and provide much of its sunshine.

Salamon's music refuses to allow superficial analysis, while holding the ear's attention. Although his lines are diffuse and have unpredictable phrase lengths, they logically hold together, producing a forward motion that twists and turns. What Arguelles and Godard play flits between improvisation and composition and, when surrounded by Salamon's constantly varying playing, produce a whole that is more than the sum of its parts.

Nano demonstrates that Salamon's compositional skills are solidifying, allowing him to maintain the delicate balance between control and freedom. This wondrous music has many layers, each of which deserves deep attention.

Track Listing: A Tune For Michel; Is That Tuba?; Excuse Me, Mr. Frisell? Baby Kisses; Yellow Chocolate; Nano; Thematics; Black Tears; Hebe; Kolibri.

Personnel: Michel Godard: tuba; Julian Arguelles: tenor and soprano saxophone; Samo Salamon: guitar; Roberto Dani: drums.

Title: Nano | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Zalozba Goga


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Alma Matters" CD/LP/Track Review Alma Matters
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "Two Of A Kind" CD/LP/Track Review Two Of A Kind
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power Package" CD/LP/Track Review Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power...
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Here on Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Here on Earth
by Doug Collette
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Return" CD/LP/Track Review Return
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 24, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.