Kalle Kalima – High Noon

high noon(ACT)

Kalima has a penchant for the wild west – after all, he moved from Finland to Berlin. Here he has a trio with German drummer Max Andrzejewski and American double bassist Greg Cohen, and a book of tunes celebrating the actual Wild West.

The traditional sea shanty Sant Anno might be the opener, but from there the plains open up wide with Ghost Riders In The Sky, El Paso, The High And The Mighty and South Of The Border among the campfire classics. In among them Kalima slips in Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, the Shadows’ Man Of Mystery, some Finnish songs and even a bit of Sibelius.

It’s a terrific album all round, with the guitarist a master not just of jazz guitar but country and slide too. He maintains a lovely flow of line in his solos and adds a harmonic or a little overdubbed sheen of steel, in just the right moments. Cohen – just listen to his solo on El Paso – and Andrzejewski clearly fully buy into the musical ethos and the listener is the beneficiary.

I’m sure Bill Frisell, who is clearly the pioneer of this kind of cowboy jazz, would approve, and in fact this album has been proving the perfect appetizer to what will be the main course on thejazzbreakfast in the coming days: Frisell’s new one of film and TV themes, When You Wish Upon A Star, released this Friday.

My only caveat reagarding High Noon is that, should there be a vinyl version you probably don’t want it – the cover painting is unfortunate even at the size it will appear on your screen as a download.

Categories: CD review

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