The Saltman Knowles Quintet is a shining example of the tradition in jazz for long-term artist collaborations. This Washington DC group is known for serving up melodically alluring while rhythmically infectious music with a sincere and emotional collection of songs. Bassist Mark Saltman and pianist William Knowles, the leaders of this seamless blending of sounds, met while attending the composition program at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and created a musical bond with similar affections for the music of Billy Strayhorn, Horace Silver, Cedar Walton and Charles Mingus.
The new release, Return of the Composer exemplifies the cohesive unit created with a strong underlying foundation, interesting melodic lines, spirited rhythms and superlative musicianship. With four CDs under their belt the group decided to continue their journey into creative musical explorations by including the soulful sounds of vocalist Lori William- Chisholm in a more unconventional way. The use of the voice as an instrumental texture executing complex melodies while avoiding the cliché of standard vocal presentations is the icing on the cake of this delicious voyage of musical expression. The compelling clarity of Lori’s vocals add to the rich spirit of this CD that includes drummer Jimmy Junebug Jackson, alto sax player Rob Landham and trumpeter Alvin Trask who provide a lush array of musical brilliance to this solid mix.