Composer, guitarist and bandleader Kirk Salopek's Silencio is a concept project that draws its inspiration from the films of David Lynch and the accompanying scores of Angelo Badalamenti. Like Salopek's previous outing, Transitions (Glassville, 2011), with his Mandrake Project, Silencio's strength is its ability to create instant atmosphere and lush, layered arrangements.
Salopek's tunes are melody driven, but leave enough open space for the accompanying members of his El Gran Silencio group to play off each others' solos and interludes. Salopek's delicious, reverb-laden licks and arpeggios throughout "Harvest Companion II" set the harmonic bedrock for Rick Matt's baritone sax solo, elevating the tune's dark, Lynchian atmosphere.
Again, in the upbeat "Night Drive," it's the guitar lines and chugging drum beats that perfectly set up an acoustic imagery which provides both its familiar melody and dark, dreamy appeal. But here, it's Salopek's layered riffs that add the melodic tension, with the saxophone weighing in only at the resistive closing. In fact, throughout the thoroughly enjoyable, Silencio, it is the counterpoint created between the Dick Dale-informed guitar phrases and the bold, guttural saxophone that makes this music stand outalthough the dense, trilling organ solo in "Hari Bari" breaks through dramatically, reminiscent of early Spencer Davis Group.
As he showed in his previous incarnation, Salopek is a superb composer and bandleader, capable of coaxing a united, atmospheric sound from a diverse array of musicians, track after track. On Silencio, he repeats the magic, but additionally highlights his own riff-rich guitar skills and, in the process, creates a highly entertaining and listenable nod to the films of David Lynch that stands on its own musical legs.
A Dream In Blue; Dreamwalk Dance; Harvest Companion; Music For Crows; Cannibal's Vamp;
Slow Sin Jazz; Lalina; Harvest Companion II; A Minor Montage; Night Drive; Velouro; Latin Six
Four; Hari Bari; (Headache & Heartbreak) In A Low Place; Lachrymose; The End Of October;
Dessa Poljak: voice; Kirk Salopek: guitar, glockenspiel, percussion; David Jamison: drums,
percussion, piano; Matt Booth: bass; Lee Hintenlang: tenor saxophone; Dan Barrett:
keyboards; Jason Guerra: bass; Dennis Karl: organ, piano, Rhodes, keyboard; Rick G. Nelson:
strings; Jim Relja: guitar; Rick Matt: baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone; Carlos Ortiz IV:
Ambient / New Age Beyond Jazz Blues Electronica Free Improv / Avant-Garde Fringes of Jazz Funk / Groove Fusion / Progressive Rock Hot Jazz Jam Band Modern Jazz R&B / Soul Straight-ahead (Bop, Hard bop, Cool)