The combination of a high horn and electric guitar offers loads of sonic possibilities and the Slovenian guitarist Samo Salamon and the American reed-player Paul McCandless cover more ground than most. On this album Salamon also has Roberto Dani on drums – and, as the title tells us, that’s it.
McCandless plays mostly soprano saxophone, though he sometimes returns to the instrument with which he made his name in The Winter Consort and then, most famously, in Oregon. Those bands give him a strong history of working closely with a guitarist.
Salamon is a new name to me, though he shouldn’t be – he has an impressive discography which shows 18 releases under his own name since 2002, he has studied with John Scofield, played with David Binney, and toured with Tim Berne and Tom Rainey – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The trio is in its most rewarding territory when it’s sounding atmospheric, lyrical and free-flowing as on Little River, Kei’s Garden and indeed most of the rest of the album. These players try rocking and funky on Blown Away, and although they make an adequate fist of it, it’s not really their area of strength.
A mostly engaging album, though rather too long. Salamon clearly likes the bassless trio format – look out for a session with Julian Arguelles and John Hollenbeck in the not too distant future. (Peter Bacon, thejazzbreakfast)
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