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About Salim Washington

Although not well-known nationally, Salim Washington is an expressive post-bop tenor saxophonist/flutist who has enjoyed a small following in the Boston area. Boston, however, isn't Washington's hometown; the jazzman grew up in Detroit but moved east to attend Harvard University. Washington, who is married to viola player Melanie Dyer, decided to remain in Boston permanently and became a fixture in the city's predominantly African-American Roxbury section. It was in Roxbury that he formed a nine-piece band called the Roxbury Blues Aesthetic, whose members have included Washington's wife as well as trumpeter Waldron Ricks, reedman Henry Cook, and drummer Bobby Ward. Although the outfit plays with the feeling of the blues, it isn't a blues band per se -- rather, the RBA favors a very spiritual style of instrumental post-bop that underscores Washington's appreciation of John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, George Adams, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Yusef Lateef. Washington provided his first album as a leader in 1997, when he entered the studio with his RBA and recorded Love in Exile for Accurate. The reedman didn't record any more albums in the 1990s, although he was still quite active in the Boston area when the early 2000s rolled around. ~ Alex Henderson