Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Samo Salamon & Howard Levy: Peaks of Light

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
American harmonica player Howard Levy is not only a master of the diatonic harmonica; he is also an eclectic musician who elevates every playing situation he participates in. Slovenian guitarist/composer Samo Salamon is a jazz specialist, but he is also a fearless improviser, as demonstrated in his recent duet project WindS (Klopotec, 2016) with pianist Stefano Battaglia and Planets of Kei (NotTwo Records, 2017), a free improvisation session on which he played only acoustic guitar.

This album presents a program of duets, most of them new Salamon compositions featuring Levy's harmonica. "Devil's Darling" opens the set with brisk acoustic guitar, strumming an odd-metered pattern. Once Levy enters it becomes a harmonica feature, which is a frequent pattern: Salamon spends more playing time as an accompanist than a soloist. "Chaplin Walks" finds Salamon on electric guitar, and Levy takes a turn as accompanist for the guitar solo, which becomes a brief dialog before the theme returns. "Sleepy Burja" revisits this Salamon ballad: the combination of volume pedal swells and harmonica gives a lovely, yearning sound.

The pair present one collective improvisation. "Our Tune" could have been titled "Out Tune," since it has the most harmonically free playing on the album. "That had its moments," Levy comments at the end. Levy's sole compositional contribution is "Riding the Urban Range," which indeed has a vaguely Western (as in the American frontier) tone. "The Harmonica Suite" opens with a waltz, which finds space for an extended unaccompanied guitar solo. Fans of Salamon's guitar playing will enjoy "Freeze," which closes the album and includes a bit of unaccompanied electric guitar.

Peaks of Light stands as a highlight in Samo Salamon's prolific recording career. Howard Levy may not be an obvious choice for a duet partner, but the sparkling results speak for themselves. Recommended even if you think you do not like the harmonica.

Track Listing: Devil's Darling; Chaplin Walks; Barren; Sleepy Burja; Our Tune; Riding the Urban Range; Para Para; The Harmonica Suite - Part I; The Harmonica Suite - Part II; The Harmonica Suite - Part III; Freeze.

Personnel: Howard Levy: harmonica; Samo Salamon: electric and acoustic guitars.

Title: Peaks of Light | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Samo Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Nantucket

Nantucket

Samo Salamon
Little River

Ice Storm

Ice Storm

Samo Salamon
Stretching Out

Ducks On Ice

Ducks On Ice

Samo Salamon
Eleven Stories

Blistering

Blistering

Samo Salamon
Duality

Lastovo

Lastovo

Samo Salamon
Almost Almond

Miss Sarcasm

Miss Sarcasm

Samo Salamon
Live!

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Traveling Moving Breathing

Traveling Moving...

Clean Feed Records
2018

buy
Peaks of Light

Peaks of Light

Samo Records
2018

buy
Planets of Kei

Planets of Kei

Not Two Records
2017

buy
Free Sessions Vol. 1: Planets Of Kei

Free Sessions Vol. 1:...

NotTwo Records
2017

buy
Unity

Unity

Samo Records
2017

buy
Winds

Winds

Klopotec
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read Vilddjur CD/LP/Track Review
Vilddjur
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Lines in Sand CD/LP/Track Review
Lines in Sand
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It CD/LP/Track Review
Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 11, 2018
Read The Brave CD/LP/Track Review
The Brave
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 11, 2018
Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read "Perception" CD/LP/Track Review Perception
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 15, 2018
Read "John Medeski's Mad Skillet" CD/LP/Track Review John Medeski's Mad Skillet
by Doug Collette
Published: December 8, 2018
Read "Parting Is" CD/LP/Track Review Parting Is
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "!" CD/LP/Track Review !
by Anthony Shaw
Published: June 8, 2018
Read "2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert" CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Essential Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Essential Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 24, 2017