Human Spirit: Dialogue (2012)

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Human Spirit: Dialogue
The three players who now call themselves Human Spirit—drummer Matt Jorgensen
Matt Jorgensen
Matt Jorgensen
b.1972
drums
, trumpeter Thomas Marriott
Thomas Marriott
Thomas Marriott
b.1975
trumpet
and alto saxophonist Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor
b.1961
composer/conductor
—have a very successful track record of recording together. They teamed up on Jorgensen's magnificent Tattooed by Passion (2010) and Another Morning (2008), and on Marriott's strange and splendid Crazy: The Music of Willie Nelson (2008) and Flexicon (2009), all on Seattle's Origin Records. But the idea of the group's name came certainly from Marriott's Human Spirit (Origin Records), teaming the trio with organist Gary Versace
Gary Versace
Gary Versace

organ, Hammond B3
for one of 2011's most dynamic and modern-sounding recordings.

Dialogue finds the group—with special guests sitting in on piano and bass—in a live setting at the Earshot Jazz Festival, and sounding very spirited indeed. Jorgensen, Marriott and Taylor have a special genius for for taking the standard jazz quintet—sax, trumpet and rhythm section—and breathing new life into the format. The distinct ensemble sound comes, in part, from the melding of Taylor's tart tone, with its "lemonade a couple of teaspoons short on the sugar" tang blending with Marriott's clean, pure timbre. A vibrant simpatico rises up, whether the horn men are playing unison lines or interweaving long notes, leading to always-inspired soloing. Jorgensen, in the drum chair, channels tumultuous grooves and—as the best of the best drummers seem to do (like the late Paul Motian
Paul Motian
Paul Motian
1931 - 2011
drums
, and Al Foster
Al Foster
Al Foster
b.1944
drums
)—makes everyone sound better, as he subtly boosts the music and catches the ear with the unexpected.

Dialogue's tunes are all originals: two by Jorgensen; two from Taylor; and four from perhaps nominal leader Marriott. It's a live show, and the energy level is high, with mostly up-tempo workouts and lots of fire. And the special guests are inspired choices, as they've always been with Human Spirit—whether, as on previous recordings, it was guitarist Corey Christiansen and keyboardist Ryan Burns
Ryan Burns
Ryan Burns
b.1972
piano
, or bassists Geoff Harper, Dave Captein or Jeff Johnson
Jeff Johnson
Jeff Johnson
b.1954
bass
. The guest slots on Dialogue go to pianist Orrin Evans
Orrin Evans
Orrin Evans
b.1975
piano
, who plays with percussive gusto, and bassist Essiet Essiet
Essiet Essiet
Essiet Essiet
b.1956
bass, acoustic
, who supplies a solid foundation for the horns' soaring free flights.

Human Spirit offers up high wire jazz quintet sound with Dialogue, an outing that takes a standard lineup and shifts it into a different dimension.

Track Listing: In Unity; Stepford and Son; Reversal of Fortune; Song for Samuel; After Hours; 148 Lexington; Pelham Gardens.

Personnel: Thomas Marriott: trumpet; Mark Taylor: alto saxophone; Matt Jorgensen: drums; Orrin Evans: piano; Essiet Essiet: bass.

Record Label: Origin Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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