There are many outstanding guitarists in jazz music, but Samo Salamon stands out. He's a technically terrifying musician, but the world of improvisational music is full of players with intimidating technique. Salamon's greatest attribute is his uniqueness: His rock-inflected electric tone and trademark solo lines of jagged single notes and crunching chord clusters are his own. He's as talented a composer as he is a guitarist, with a fondness for through-composed passages, challenging harmony and impossibly-complex time signatures.
What makes his work so impressive, though, is the fact that he continues to live in his native Slovenia--a location not readily associated with jazz music, and certainly not with the kind of cutting-edge, no-standards ensemble material Salamon is creating. A typical New York musician is playing a gig tonight, and tomorrow night, and again the night after that--the constant stimulus of playing with other very talented musicians is a given. But if Salamon isn't on one of his regular-but-infrequent tours, he's at home--teaching guitar, practicing and writing.
AAJ Contributing Editor Paul Olson spoke at length with Salamon, about his numerous projects with a who's who of the New York scene, the balance between writing and playing and what's in store in the near future for this ambitious young Slovenian guitarist.
Check out Samo Salamon: Melody, Heaviness and Maturity at AAJ today!