Pacific Salt

Pacific Salt. Vancouver jazz band in the fusion style. It was formed in 1970 by the trombonist Ian McDougall, with Don Clark (trumpet), Ron Johnston (piano), Oliver Gannon (guitar), Tony Clitheroe (bass, bass guitar), and George Ursan (drums). All were among the city's first-call studio musicians of the day. McDougall remained with the band until 1973. P.J. Perry (saxophones) was a member 1972-5, his place taken by Jack Stafford. Tony Clitheroe was succeeded in turn by Torben Oxbol and Tom Haslett.

Salt, as it was popularly known, performed extensively in western Canada, often at CBC-sponsored events, and was heard frequently on the network's 'Jazz Radio-Canada'. It also gave many school concerts and toured in 1970 and 1971 for JMC. McDougall, Clark, Gannon, Johnston, Perry, and Ursan contributed to the repertoire on its three LPs: Pacific Salt (1973, CBC LM-302), Pacific Salt (1973, Ramophone G-1002) and Pacific Salt Live (1975, Little Mountain LMR-105, recorded at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre's Playhouse). Among the band's most popular tunes were Country Detour and Somaliland (Gannon), Canned Tomatoes (Clark), and Dumb Boogie (Johnston).

Salt was inactive by the early 1980s, the popularity of its relatively commercial, rock-influenced jazz supplanted in Vancouver by the more dramatic fusion style of Skywalk. McDougall, Gannon, and Johnston recorded in 1976 and 1988 as a trio (see McDougall) and in 1990 toured the Canadian festival circuit under the name RIO.