Now Playing: Chicago

Michael Salter 

While travelling I had the great fortune of meeting Chicago based saxophonist, clarinetist and composer Michael Salter. The moment I heard his arrangement of the Horace Silver composition ‘Peace’ I knew I had to share his beautiful music. Moving through different musical styles, developing and expanding upon themes and introducing new textures and moods, listening to the recording truly takes you on a musical journey. I highly recommend listening to it a few times over, you will hear something new and fantastic each time.

Not long after I heard this recording I had the pleasure of hearing an original of Michael’s called Dharma. The second the piece begins I’m captivated. Everything about the way the song has been arranged is so thoughtful and tasteful. The subtle hint of bossa nova from the gentle brushes on the drums, the contrast in the bass between it’s initial pulsing rhythm and sudden unison lines with the clarinet, the dynamics, the layering, textures, builds and falls. The piece is so atmospheric, it will carry you away to an Oasis in the Sahara or perhaps the crying cello at the end of the piece will conjure up images of two people saying goodbye to each other for the last time.

Both recordings are superb examples of music that dares to merge genres and present something challanging and rewarding to listen to. While artists such as Robert Glasper have also combined genres such as jazz and electronica in recent times, I feel that Michael takes it one step further, actually moving right through one style and into a completely different one, all within a single composition or arrangement. The result is creative, inspiring and outstanding music which I promise you will listen to on repeat.


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