The New York Second Music At Night (Sena 2021)

NEW RELEASE – THE NEW YORK SECOND

The New York Second expertly jazzifies the essays of Aldous Huxley. Try it some time.

The New York Second - Music At Night

Personnel

Harald Walkate (piano), Teus Nobel (trumpet, flugelhorn), Mark Alban Lotz (alto saxophone, flute), Jesse Schilderink (tenor saxophone), Vincent Veneman (trombone), Thomas Pol (bass), Max Sergeant (drums)

Recorded

at Wedgeview in 2021

Released

on Sena in 2021

Track listing

These Are The Chosen Words
Him, A Bull? Ha! A Bird
The Bostonian
The Drowned World
Music At Night
No More Epilogues
The Keys Ain’t The Keys No More
The Ayes Have It
The Drowned World (reprise)


There has been a steady flow of ‘literary’ or shall we say ‘conceptual’ jazz recordings in The Netherlands of late. Under The Surface featuring Sanne Rambags has built an album around pre-Middle Age lyrical sources. Coal Harbor’s Feedforward focuses on the 21st century paradox of growth and decline. Bass clarinetist Joris Roelofs’ Rope Dance is inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche. The inspiration of Mete Erker and Jeroen van Vliet’s In stems from the utopian story Island by Aldous Huxley, writer of the famous book Brave New World.

While reviewing those projects has been left in the able hands of others elsewhere, I do have permission to share my thoughts on The New York Second’s Music At Night here, which incidentally takes Huxley’s book of essays Music At Night as the springboard for eight carefully crafted compositions by Amsterdam-based pianist and bandleader Harald Walkate. In various combinations, The New York Second has released three albums, preceding their latest by Bay Of Poets and Emergo. Besides Walkate, the band nowadays includes trumpeter and flugelhorn player (and co-producer) Teus Nobel, alto saxophonist and flutist Mark Alban Lotz, tenor saxophonist Jesse Schilderink, trombonist Vincent Veneman, bassist Thomas Pol and drummer Max Sergeant.

Interestingly, Leiden-born Walkate (1970) kindly explained by email that he is not only a jazz musician but also works in finance. His travel experiences seep through in his work, in the case of Music At Night, for instance, visits to Paris, Boston and Florida. Walkate: “Naturally, while I’m staying abroad I always go to concerts and get into touch with local musicians.”

There’s always the risk that ‘literary’ and ‘conceptual’ spiral out of control and equate with pompousness. (It happens) Though the repertoire of Music At Night definitely is through-composed, Walkate and The New York Second successfully manage to avoid this pitfall. The arcs of Walkate’s diverse and suspenseful tunes are tackled expressively and his uncanny timing and voicing of brass and reed keeps the listener on the edge of his seat.

Walkate himself (you get the feeling you have come to know this man and charming writer a bit by reading the extensive liner notes by him and friends and you imagine him seated in a Chesterfield chair, glass of Scotch in one hand, a book by James Thurber in the other… or am I picturing myself… liner notes that may certainly enhance your listening experience, though it has to be said that the music perfectly stands on its own) is a thoughtful soloist. Especially enticing during the sultry, film noir-ish The Keys Ain’t The Keys No More, Walkate performs a fully rounded short story of repetitive motives and rhythmic shifts.

It would be insincere to say that all tunes are equally satisfying to me. However, coherence and a good flow are strong points of the album and ‘satisfying’ (and ‘easy peasy’) are words that appropriately describe the task of picking a couple of winners. The hilarious title of Him, A Bull? Ha! A Bird coincidentally is an anagram of Abdullah Ibrahim, whose style is said to prefigure that of The New York Second’s pater familias. The ballad shifts focus to an anecdote of a meeting between Hemingway and Picasso and features lively playing by Schilderink, whose tenor sound is imbued with a slightly raw edge and growl.

A nimble and exotic beat nudges along Music At Night, a multi-layered piece that benefits not only from the melodic leading role of Pol’s bass but also from Veneman’s killer trombone, Lotz’s supple flute and Nobel’s flexible trumpet (remarkably steady and spicy in all registers). Here’s a bunch of cats that capitalize on Walkate’s opportunities like elegant strikers on the soccer pitch of Camp Nou.

That makes up for a hattrick. And then some. The oblique but tantalizing movements of The Ayes Have It seem to find the middle ground between dark-hued Wayne Shorter and uplifting Duke Pearson. And arguably also resemble the stylings of one of Walkate’s self-declared favorite bands, the jazz and literature-inspired alt-pop phenomenon Steely Dan. To be sure, Walkate/The New York Second and Becker/Fagen have in common high-level musicianship and a great ear for detail and definitely delivered a must-hear.

The New York Second

Find Music At Night on Walkate’s website here.

Ricardo Pinheiro Gestures/Momentum (Inner Circle Music 2022)

NEW RELEASE – RICARDO PINHEIRO

Ricardo Pinheiro’s live recordings from 2009 with Chris Cheek make clear that the Portuguese guitarist had developed a personal style long before he became more visible on the international stages.

Ricardo Pinheiro - Gestures

Ricardo Pinheiro - Momentum

Personnel

Ricardo Pinheiro (guitar), Chris Cheek (tenor and soprano saxophone), Mário Laghina (piano), João Paulo Esteves da Silva (Fender Rhodes), Demian Labaud (bass), Alexander Frazão (drums)

Recorded

at S. Luiz Theatre, Lisbon on June 28, 2009

Released

Inner Circle Music in 2022

Track listing

Gestures:
Somewhere Nowhere
Pop-up
Sereno (Para Patricia)
Open Letter (To Leo)
Momentum:
Mechanique
Reflektion
Isabel
Soleil Levant


At the time, Pinheiro’s band no doubt gained ‘momentum’. It moves dynamically in and out of varying spheres, often within the context of one composition. Pinheiro’s airy sound gives his music something of its own. His music switches from Jethro Tull-type lines to funky fusion and elaborate ballads, embellished by Mediterranean and South-American spices, courtesy of 4/5th of his group’s line-up. Besides American guest artist Chris Cheek on tenor and soprano saxophone, Pinheiro is accompanied by pianist Mário Laghina and Fender Rhodes player João Paulo Esteves da Silva from Portugal, bassist Demian Labaud from Argentina and drummer Alexander Frazão from Brazil.

Pinheiro kindly answered some questions about his twin album release. He says: “Chris Cheek was part of my group back in 2008-2010. He is one of my favorite saxophone players in the whole world. We recorded these two albums in June 2009 live at the Teatro S. Luiz in Lisbon, and I became aware of this recording only in September 2021. As the artistic director of the Sintra Jazz Festival 2021, I encountered the sound engineer who showed me the recording – he recorded that particular concert back in 2009. I listened to it and thought the music was happening.”

About the exotic tinges of some of his compositions: “Maybe there is some hidden Mediterranean flavor in the music. Some harmonic progressions, melodies and rhythms maybe suggest this Southern-European utopian imagination, I guess! It must be something that comes out naturally, without any kind of imposition or overthinking. Melody drives my compositional process, and I always try to write beautiful melodies without over-rationalizing about them.”

Cheek probes and smoothly finds his way in the woods of Pinheiro’s sumptuous melodies. His interaction with Soleil Levant’s juicy rhythm is an especially interesting experience. Mário Laghina’s quicksilver piano and João Paulo Esteves da Silva’s Rhodes lines take the fusion of Pop-Up to a higher level. Although his sound here, more woolly than usual, gives the impression of a runaway satellite from a space station, Pinheiro’s statements are equally fulfilling.

Pinheiro and his men revel in their handling of the dream-like Isabel, an enticing and free-flowing piece of rubato lyricism, double-time as well as suggested rhythm, which kind of reflects the temperamental waves and swell of the sea, not least because of Pinheiro’s beautifully executed tone and volume control effects. Pinheiro would elaborate on his balanced bag of tricks on Pinheiro/Cavalli/Ineke’s Triplicity in 2018 and Turn Out The Stars in 2021 and Pinheiro’s Caruma in 2020. He has been very inventive in this respect.

By all means, Pinheiro’s belated album release of Gestures and Momentum by Greg Osby’s Inner Circle Music is not an unnecessary luxury.

Ricardo Pinheiro

Find Gestures and Momentum here.

Michiel Stekelenburg Trio Onoda (ZenneZ 2022)

NEW RELEASE – MICHIEL STEKELENBURG

Trio Onoda prowls the borders of the guitar/organ combo format.

Michiel Stekelenburg - Trio Onoda

Personnel

Michiel Stekelenburg (guitar), Arno Krijger (organ), Jasper van Hulten (drums)

Recorded

at Wedgeview Studio in the 21st century

Released

ZR 2202010 in 2022

Track listing

Onoda
Steroids
Keyser Söze
As We Grow
Consecotaleophobia
Slow
Five
Seven On Two
Mist


Acouple of exceptional originals is a necessity for a good band and a good record. Ace guitarist Michiel Stekelenburg, a particularly growing presence on the international fusion circuit, meets demands. Underpinned by wahwah-ish vibrations, Stekelenburg rips and roars through the rock-funk of Consecotaleophobia, no doubt a flagwaver during live performances. Onoda is the album’s strongest mood piece, flamenco-tinged and laden with tension, as if you’re watching the miraculous blossoming of an orchid in the time span of six minutes. Courageous way to kickstart a record.

Stekelenburg wrote some erratically patterned ballbreakers that are tackled fluently by the trio and songs that, though hardly unforgettable in my mind, are springboards for solid improvisation. Arno Krijger is the secret weapon. The way that the versatile organist sonically steers the proceedings, sometimes punchy, other times deliberately oblique, is pretty nifty and Krijger’s misterioso stories are balanced and to the point.

Keyser Söze (ears of cinema aficionados perk up) includes a slight suggestion of swing and the dichotomy of sturdy fusion and loose feel is rather suspenseful and alluring, making us want more where that came from.

Michiel Stekelenburg

Find Trio Onoda here.

Just Friends

GIG – JAN VAN DUIKEREN

Bimhuis presents a series of challenging Spring Duets on May 12 & 13. Flophouse spotlights the pairing of trumpeter Jan van Duikeren and drummer John Engels.

Jan van Duikeren (1975) is one of the major Dutch trumpeters. His diverse career includes cooperations with Christian McBride, James Carter, Joshua Redman, Dr. John, Diana Ross, New Cool Collective and Candy Dulfer. Van Duikeren is a mainstay at the acclaimed Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw.

87-year-old John Engels has played with Clifford Brown, Teddy Edwards, Sonny Stitt, Don Byas and many many others. A pioneering Dutch modern jazz drummer, Engels was part of the crackerjack hard bop group The Diamond Five in the late 1950 and early 1960’s, a group that in an unusual turn of events took ownership of the legendary Sheherazade club in Amsterdam. It’s a period that Engels fondly remembers. The drummer also especially cherishes his stint with Chet Baker, documented on one of Baker’s finest albums, Live In Tokyo.

Middle-aged Van Duikeren and veteran Engels have a special rapport. Van Duikeren says: “We have been friends since the 1990’s. It seems that we gel very well on a musical level and share a view on what’s important in jazz music.” Engels is part of the trumpeter’s JVD4, which released Dear John (a title that speaks volumes) in 2016. An excellent album that also features pianist Karel Boehlee and bassist Aram Kersbergen. Take a listen to Chinook, Van Duikeren really tears it up, buoyantly breaking out of the changes.

At the tail end of 2021, Van Duikeren released Short Stories. Here, the JVD4 is embellished by the Metropole string section. It’s a gorgeous, lush ballad record that showcases Van Duikeren’s typically melodic, understated and crystal-clear trumpet. A perfect soundtrack to nocturnal strolls in the big city, there you are, in Paris, Vienna or Amsterdam, along the river that intersperses the bustling center, walkin’ with someone very close to your heart… Great stuff.

Jan van Duikeren & John Engels

Go to Bimhuis here.
Find Short Stories on Zennez here.
Find the vinyl edition of Dear John on Challenge Records here.
Check out Van Duikeren’s website here.

Eric Ineke Swingin’ Boppin’ And Burnin’ (Daybreak 2022)

NEW RELEASE – ERIC INEKE

Ultimate sideman and hard bop ambassador Eric Ineke can’t and won’t stop swingin’, boppin’ and burnin’.

Eric Ineke - Swingin' Boppin' And Burnin'

Personnel

Eric Ineke (drums) and Rein de Graaff, Koos Serierse, Marius Beets, Jimmy Raney, Doug Raney, Ben Webster, Maynard Ferguson, Frans Elsen, John Marshall, Etta Jones, Houston Person, Pepper Adams, Piet Noordijk and others.

Recorded

1968-2007

Released

Daybreak 801 in 2022

Track listing

Hersey Bar
I Thought About You
Ornithology
Easy Living
Thou Swell
Tangerine
Eric’s Blues
The Theme
Jotosko


Rarely if ever have I heard such a quiet drum solo as the one that Eric Ineke played at his 70th Birthday Bash at Bimhuis, Amsterdam five years ago. It was quieter than soft winds through your hair. That was a festive occasion with buoyant bop and hard bop. Hence, Ineke’s contrasting, hushed and exceptionally skilled performance was all the more exciting.

The Dutch veteran that played with everybody from Dizzy Gillespie to Johnny Griffin and Dexter Gordon, is not the stereotypical drum soloist. Although he occasionally takes center stage, Ineke prefers concise statements and the interactive trading of eights and fours – if called by the spirit, twos. Typically, Ineke is a supportive and propulsive drummer that links Philly Joe to Elvin Jones and the big picture – wrenching every inch of soul from his bandmates that they’ve got – is his core business.

In honor of his 75th birthday, which again was celebrated at Bimhuis in April, Daybreak has released Swingin’ Boppin’ And Burnin’. It’s a compilation that compares well to Ineke’s 70th Birthday CD Let There Be Life, Love And Laughter: Eric Ineke Meets The Tenor Players and a feast of hard-swinging and subtle mainstream jazz recognition. Honestly, where else can you find such a diversity of characteristic soloists? Surprisingly, this diversity and timeline of 1968-2007 is not in any way confusing, certainly due to bassist/remastering engineer Marius Beets’s resonant and consistent sound concept.

Most of all, Ineke is the tie that binds the unique stylings of Jimmy Raney, Ben Webster, Maynard Ferguson and Pepper Adams, among others. Exceptionally alert and gifted with far-reaching songbook and drum historic knowledge, Ineke pretty much always finds the groove that fits the particular soloist, which coupled with a congenial and enthusiastic personality has made him one of Europe’s ideal drumming accompanists since the late 1960’s. For those in the know, it is no surprise to find extremes as Ineke’s subtle and driving brush work on pianist Frans Elsen’s version of Thou Swell and the explosive Art Blakey stylings of his band The JazzXPress’s intense Jotosko.

A couple of standout moments are Ben Webster’s (and, lest we forget, hot damn, Tete Montoliu’s) fervent ride through the anthemic stereotypical set closer The Theme and Jimmy Raney’s harmonically astute handling of Hersey Bar. The way Eric and his band kick the commonly understated Scott Hamilton into increasingly higher gears on Tangerine and trumpeter John Marshall’s sweet and sour handling of the beautiful ballad Easy Living further justify the conclusion that the pairing of Ineke and his closest musical associate, pianist Rein de Graaff, is one of the all-time great European modern jazz partnerships. The duo and its crackerjack contemporary and famous long-gone companions are like a shoal of dolphins that in a completely natural way continue its jumpin’ and jivin’ journey in and on the undercurrents and waves of the ocean.

This excellent compilation is awarded him warmly. Who knows what 80 will bring.

Eric Ineke

Find Swingin’ Boppin’ & Burnin’ here.

Plas & Jazz

SPOTLIGHT ON – PLAS JOHNSON

“Everybody on this planet knows Plas Johnson, perhaps not his name, but they have heard his saxophone!”, says his long-time friend Jean-Michel Reisser-Beethoven.

(Listen to Too Close For Comfort from This Is The Plas, 1959)

It might be prototypes of Archie Bunker or Al Bundy. Slumped on the couch. Or it might be a teenage couple in the movie theater in the 1960’s. They’re staring at the screen. A woman slowly and seductively starts to undress herself in front of a man, accompanied by lurid sax sounds. Or a bronze-colored guy wildly rides the West Coast waves on his surf board. Honking tenor. That’s The Plas that Jean-Michel is talking about. Perhaps not everybody knows his name but the whole Western Hemisphere, and a big part of the East and South, is familiar with Johnson’s sax line and solo on Henry Mancini’s iconic Pink Panther Theme. Heck, I was behind the drum kit a million moons ago in my first (and last) blues band doing a noisy version of it and not yet even knowing about Plas Johnson’s existence. Nowadays, the epic melody is a perennial favorite of my daughter at the piano.

No doubt, Plas Johnson holds the world record as most recorded saxophonist in the modern culture of movies, tv and popular music. Johnson made a career in Hollywood and – often as part of the class act Wrecking Crew including drummer Earl Palmer and bassist Carol Kaye – recorded with Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, B.B. King, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Otis and The Beach Boys, among hundreds of others. He was also the long-time saxophonist on the Merv Griffin Show.

Random choices:

  • Ella Fitzgerald, Sings The Harold Arlen Songbook
  • Sam Cooke, Twistin’ The Night Away
  • Henry Cain, The Funky Organization Of Henry Cain
  • Dr. John, Gris-Gris
  • Steely Dan, The Royal Scam

Etc.

Johnson was born in Donaldsonville, Louisiana in 1931 and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950’s, never looking back. At the age of 90, Johnson, according to Jean-Michel, is keeping his saxophone chops up and to remain in touch with jazz reality teaches a couple of youngsters. Likely, teaching will be about finding a personal sound and about versatility. Johnson’s sound is juicy, solid, with a generous blues-drenched touch. His multi-faceted career has its roots in Louisiana’s musical melting pot, where he started out as a singer and saxophonist in the groups of his family and brother.

Having but a few jazz recordings of Plas Johnson, I wondered where to look and how many mainstream jazz things Johnson has done. This is when Jean-Michel, friend of the likes of Johnson, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Wild Bill Davis and former manager of Ray Brown, comes in. (See past posts in coop with Jean-Michel about Jimmy Rowles and Ray Brown here and here.) The floor is Jean-Michel’s:

“Plas was one of the very first black guys that worked in the studios in L.A. Those days, they unfortunately didn’t have a chance. Actually, the first was Buddy Colette, he could read and play all the horns. I think the second is Plas. He plays soprano, alto, baritone, trombone, flute! He’s a good reader. That’s why he was successful in L.A. And of course, he has that very special sound. You can go shopping, eat in a restaurant, sooner of later you will hear sax on a rock or pop record. That’s him! What’s great about him, he was able to adapt his style to many different situations and artists. Very few people are able to do that.”

“Plas also recorded as ‘Johnny Beecher’ and in different instrumental groups as B. Bumble & The Stingers. Him and Ray Brown told me that they did many more recordings that aren’t even known. Record companies didn’t mention the black guys and put the wrong names and pictures of white musicians on the sleeves, can you believe it? Terrible. It was the same story with ghost arrangers. It was hard for Plas but after a while he accepted it. He got paid.”

“He said to me that he did all this different music for the money. He said: ‘I played jazz… not to go totally crazy!’ Some people went nuts. Bud Shank played on hundreds of songs as well, he was everywhere. He became very depressed and tired because he didn’t play jazz anymore. One night Bud’s wife called Ray and said that Bud wasn’t doing well. So Ray visited him and decided to form the L.A. Four. This way Bud could play a bit more jazz. So Plas had two lives, by day he was in the studios and at night he played jazz. Crazy, right! On alto, Plas had four influences: Louis Jordan, Benny Carter, Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson and Johnny Hodges. His tenor heroes were Illinois Jacquet and Chu Berry.

“Ray was a big name on the Concord label. He called Plas and said, ‘hey man, I want you to do a real jazz album with me, you choose the guys. That became the successful album The Blues with Ray, Herb Ellis, Sweets, Jake Hanna and Mike Melvoin. A day before the recording session, Ray was driving with his wife and she said that she had to do some shopping. She said, ‘don’t go with me, it’ll only take five minutes, I’ll be back.’ After ninety minutes, his wife still wasn’t there. So Ray’s in the car, saying ‘shit…’, you know. That’s when he wrote that tune, Parking Lot Blues, waiting for his wife. The next day he came to the studio and said, ‘hey, Plas, I think I’ve got a new tune…’. Everybody loved it. It was a big hit for Plas.”

“I first met him at the festival in Nice in 1982. He played with Sweets and Jimmy Cobb, among others. What a band. After that, I saw him play with Wild Bill Davis many times. I did these tours with Ray and often Wild Bill and Plas were on the same bill. I like his record with Wild Bill a lot, That’s All, with drummer Butch Miles, a killer trio!

(Listen to Parking Lot Blues from The Blues, 1975; Fatty McSlatty from After You’re Gone, 1975 and I’ve Found A New Baby from Live At Concord, 1975)

(Listen to Good Bait from On The Trail, 1991 and Airmail Special from World Tour, 1990)

(Listen to Where Or When from That’s All, 1991; Keep That Groove Going from Keep That Groove Going, 2001 and From C To Shining C from *From C To Shining C, 2009)

Plas Johnson

Selected discography:

Plas Johnson:
This Must Be The Plas (Capitol 1959)
Mood For The Blues (Capitol 1960)
The Blues (Concord 1975)
Positively (Concord 1976)
On The Trail (with Totti Bergh, Gemini 1991)
Evening Delight (Carell 1999)
Keep That Groove Going (with Red Holloway, Milestone 2001)

Featuring Plas Johnson:
– Benny Carter, Aspects (United Artists 1959)
– Herb Ellis & Ray Brown, After You’re Gone (Concord 1975)
– The Hanna / Fontana Band, Live At Concord (Concord 1975)
– Wild Bill Davis Super Trio, That’s All (Jazz Connaisseur 1991)
– Gene Harris & The Philip Morris Superband, World Tour (Concord 1990)
– Rhoda Scott, From C To Shining C (Doodlin’ Records 2009)

Samo Salamon Dolphyology (Samo Records 2022)

OUT THERE – SAMO SALAMON

Complete Eric Dolphy for solo guitar. Samo Salamon bravely took on the challenge.

Samo Salamon - Dolphyology

Personnel

Samo Salamon (6-string guitar, 12-string guitar, mandoline)

Recorded

in 2021

Released

as Samo Records 001 in 2022

Track listing

Miss Movement
Serene
The Prophet
Miss Ann
Lady E
17 West
April Fool
Something Sweet, Something Tender
Springtime
Hat And Beard
The Baron
Iron Man
South Street Exit
Inner Flight I
245
Les
Lotsa Potsa
Straight Up And Down
Burning Spear
G.W.
Strength With Unity
Out To Lunch
Mandrake
Far Cry
In The Blues
Red Planet
Gazzelloni
Inner Flight II


Eric Dolphy was out there, initially re-evaluating and moving phrases of Charlie Parker to Mars, backward Bird flips, his style instantly recognizable, extravagant or serene, and then more and more his thoughts provocative and/or kind, his harmonic language multi-dimensional. Lest we forget, Dolphy was a composer of beautiful, intriguing compositions during his short prolific career.

Slovenian guitarist Samo Salamon has always been a big fan. Salamon has built a reputation as cutting edge guitarist since the early 00’s, collaborating with talented colleagues of his generation as well as with household names as Mark Turner, Bob Moses and Joris Teepe. Finally, during the Covid crisis, Salamon decided to record áll Dolphy compositions, a total of twenty-eight, on guitar, on his own. Impressive!

It naturally speaks for itself that Dolphyology is a double CD. It’s recorded in Salamon’s home in Maribor, Slovenia with one microphone and consists solely of first takes. Speaking for myself, a pleasant way to enjoy it is to digest it in different parts, playing it while occupied with this and that or lingering in the room, picking up interesting new things with repeated listening. Immediately clear, Salamon succeeds in putting his exceptional skills to the service of balanced, varying interpretations of the Dolphy catalogue. Often Salamon focuses on melody and the movements of the pieces, alternating between lovely, mysterious voicing and propulsive single lines. Occasionally he engages in freely improvised leaps into the unknown. Undisturbed sense of time and continues zest carry him safely home on such Dolphy gems as 17 West, Les and Burning Spear.

Lines suggest classical guitar influence, which he shares with masters as Atilla Zoller, and the ‘heavy’ riff of Lotsa Potsa oozes rock. He employs a number of nifty techniques that broaden the scope of several tunes, an alienating, alluring effect. Highlights – several featuring majestic 12-string guitar – are the exquisite Serene, an amazing Hat And Beard and the dark blue and green Straight Up And Down. Harp-like sounds infuse Salamon’s tranquil Red Planet.

Salamon explained to me via social media how he developed his style and how he got the idea of recording Dolphy’s compositions.

“I was born in Maribor, Slovenia. I first learned classical guitar, then slowly switched to blues, rock and metal and then when I was 14 discovered jazz through Pat Metheny, Mike Stern and Ralph Towner, among others. I just fell in love with it and started playing and practicing like crazy, up to five or six hours a day. I’m based in Slovenia but tour all over Europe and had stints of living in New York, playing and recording there.

Dolphy has been one of my main influences for playing lines besides Ornette Coleman. I have always liked his special place in the world of jazz, he was a very unique player. I always listened to his music. Before, I played maybe Serene and Miss Ann, just a couple of tunes. But then during the first Covid lockdown I listened to music more than usual, including Dolphy. Then this idea popped up. I had interviewed Miles Okazaki (Salamon is Dr. Jazz Talks on YouTube) who had made a great solo guitar Monk project. I wanted to do something like this with Dolphy, in my own way. I started transcribing his melodies, writing out lead sheets and improvising on his tunes. That’s how Dolphyology was created. It was recorded within a period of a month, but quite some work was done preceding that period.”

Samo Salamon

Listen to Samo play Serene on YouTube here.

And here’s Hat And Beard.

Find Dolphyology here.