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Live! by Samo Salamon Trio

Slovenian guitarist/composer Samo Salamon has received critical acclaim in recent years as one of the more original voices of the European jazz scene. Adding to his impressive recorded output, Samo Salamon Trio - Live! is a fearless effort showcasing the guitarist's bold, genre-defying musical vision.

Salamon's compositions thrive on progressive-rock elements and odd-metered vamps with openness to improvisatory exploration. The opening "Hebe" features a bouncy 5/4 groove firmly established by Michel Godard's punctuating tuba bass line. Salamon quickly seizes the opportunity to develop unpredictable themes. "Kei's Secret" is a slow dirge with trace-like intensity. Here, the leader patiently unfolds a series of chordal clusters. Other stand-out pieces include "My Rain," with interesting counterpoint between tuba and guitar, and the intricate "Happy Girl" with its disjointed waltz feel and blazing guitar solo.

What's most interesting about Salamon's playing is his ability to move back and forth from typical guitaristic ideas to a more lyrical approach that reaches beyond the limitations of the instrument.

Godard displays fine electric bass playing throughout the ten-track disc, however, it is his Tuba playing that stands out a stunning. Featured prominently, the somewhat unconventional low brass instrument adds a unique flavor to the trio's sound. Godard is given plenty of space to demonstrate incomparable solo technique.

Drummer Roberto Dani complements Salamon's eclecticism with a colorful landscape. The Italian percussionist implores tasteful brushwork, cymbal textures and inventive grooves to propel each piece forward. Dani's intense accompaniment of Salamon's distorted runs on "Catch the Train" is especially strong. All in all, the disc is an exceptional trio outing.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Samo Salamon Trio
  • CD Title: Live!
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Samo Records
  • Musicians: Samo Salamon (guitar), Roberto Dani (drums), Michel Godard (tuba, electric bass)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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