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It's About The Melody by Saltman Knowles Quintet

It’s About The Melody is the fourth CD from the members of Saltman Knowles, but the group’s first featuring vocals. Singer Lori Williams joins the set. Her role, however, is to fit into the ensemble, stepping in when needed and stepping out to give plenty of room to the other musicians.

The collaborative spirit of the recording is clear from the start. On the opening track, "Journey Around My Room," Williams helps kick off the number, but the song expands into a piano solo about a minute and a half in, and then transitions into a sax solo before it makes its way back to the vocalist.

The cornerstones of the post-bop group are bassist Mark Z. Saltman and pianist William A. Knowles. They met while studying composition at the University of Massachusetts. They shared a love of writing songs, which lead to their first recording in 1995. Some may remember them as Soulservice.

In the liner notes of their latest release, they share a list of the things they like. Coffee, "Battlestar Galactica" (the new one), and Billy Strayhorn make the list. They also provide a list of their dislikes. There’s only one entry: music without melodies.

All 10 songs, mostly mid-tempo tunes, are originals. Like the title says, the songs are about the melody. The music is fluid, tasteful, and contemporary, and there’s plenty of strong solo work throughout the CD.

Charles Langford on sax and Mark Prince on drums round out the group.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Saltman Knowles Quintet
  • CD Title: It's About The Melody
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Blue Canoe Records
  • Tracks: Journey Around My Room, The Joke’s On Me, Love Echoes, The Shadow In My Mind, What About April, My Secret Lullaby, Brighterdays, On A Pale Star, Freetime, and The Color Of Midnight
  • Musicians: Mark Z. Saltman (bass), William A. Knowles (piano), Lori Williams (vocals), Charles Langford (saxophone), and Mark G. Prince (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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