If a person had to choose only one adjective to describe Love In Exile, it would be "lush." "Exuberant," "inspired" and "optimistic" also apply, but the lush nature of Salim Washington's melodies and arrangements is the thing that stands out the most about Love In Exile, the tenor saxman/flutist's first album as a leader. Calling this CD lush isn't to say that it doesn't have a lot of bite; in fact, Washington's nine-piece band, the Roxbury Blues Aestethic (so named because it was based in Boston's Roxbury section) swings quite hard on originals by the leader and pianist Joe Bonner. Like Duke Ellington's bands, Washington and the RBA prove that one can be lush and gritty at the same time. The thoughtful material, however, isn't Ellingtonian, but rather favors a 1960s-like post-bop outlook that recalls John Coltrane as well as Pharoah Sanders, George Adams and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. When Love In Exile was recorded in 1997, the RBA's main gig was at Connolly's Stardust Lounge, a small neighborhood bar in Roxbury, and not many jazz fans outside of Boston had heard of the band. This fine CD demonstrated that Washington's nonet was quite deserving of national exposure.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson