Return of the Composer (Pacific Coast Jazz PJ 74100)
Alvin Trask (trumpet), Robert Landham (saxes), Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson (drums).
Composed by William Knowles.
Recorded: Springfield, VA, 2008
Rating: 86/100 (learn more)
The duo of bassist Mark Saltman and pianist William Knowles stems from their student days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where they formed a lasting musical and personal relationship. This contemporary duo clearly has roots in the jazz mainstream, but with the addition of the talented and vocally acrobatic Lori Williams Chisholm, they create a unique sound. On Knowles's composition "Bellport," which according to the liner notes was named for a New York town that was once the scene of a less-than-hospitable experience for the band, Chisholm's vocal scatting soars in tandem with Trask's trumpet and Landham's sax. Her tone and control are superb, and her inventiveness is inspired. Saltman is the steady unassuming anchor on bass, who along with Jimmy Smith-veteran drummer Jimmy "Junebug" Jackson keeps things moving deftly. Fine solos by Knowles and Landham and smart breaks in the melody make this an overall enjoyable excursion.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello