Samo Salamon

Fall Memories

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Electric guitarist Samo Salamon has interpreted music of Ornette Coleman and played his original music based in contemporary fusion, and is established as one of the Young Lions of Europe's modern creative music scene. For this project dedicated to the season of autumn, Salamon leads this group, but in a more toned-down fashion, no doubt due to the birth of his first child, Kei. The instrumentation is also a first for the young Slovenian, with the accordion player Luciano Biondini, Michel Godard on tuba, and the veteran drummer Roberto Dani. A more worldly tone is set by these four, stretching into Italian folk, Gypsy, tango, African rhythms, earth tones, and the bright colors, varying moods, and emotional changes that fall inexorably brings. Opening the CD, "The Crocodile Is Crazy" sets the ethnic and composed pace in a 7/8 mode that unfurls the lower-octave dynamics of the instruments. Then it's time for takeoff on the choppy multiple mixed meters of the equally breezy "Grace"; the alchemy of nuevo tango, progressive rock, and elephantine stomp on "Lady Grey"; and a modified tango full of drama and inquiry on the quirky "Our 76th Breakfast." Long multiphonic growling tuba notes identify the spatial "Number of Circles," while "For the Leaves" is an autumnal invocation, signifying the deciduous process of leaves turning from green to gold and red, falling, lying still, and then swept away. The very European-themed title track sounds like a variation on "Giant Steps," while a tribute to "E.E. Cummings" is a poetic, bright, and active piece with huge tuba segments (perhaps references to The Enormous Room) -- poignant, wise, and driven. This CD needs to be heard. It is a unique statement, another hallmark in Salamon's brief but burgeoning career, and one worth seeking and embracing.

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