If Seattle, Washington-based Origin Records can be said to have a signature sound, trumpeter Thomas Marriott's Flexicon could be picked as an example. The music is mainstream, with two horns and a rhythm section, polished up and modernized with a nice edge, some luminous Fender Rhodes, a solid-yet-adventurous bassist, and a top notch, push-the-tradition-forward drummer. And everything small and large that the drummer does can be heard. Additionally, Joe Locke
Marriott's excellent Crazy: The Music of Willie Nelson (Origin Records, 2008), expanded the boundaries of the trumpeter's musical world on a quirky and offbeat offering. The equally fine Flexicon reigns things back toward more standard, straight-ahead fare, with a cast of Northwest/Origin Records All-Stars.
, on Fender Rhodes, goes searching the night time streets on his solo.
Rodgers and Hart's "Spring is Here" lightens the mood, with Marriott and company giving the tune a zingy, modern treatment. "Little Frances," from Marriott's pen, sounds like a '60s jazz standard. The tune showcases Marriott's clean, hundred-karat tone that leads into an exploratory Jeff Johnson
The familiar "Detour Ahead" finds Marriott with mute, on this a sweetly introspective ballad that features a delicately pretty Anschell solo.
Elvis Costello's "Almost Blue" closes the show on a beautifully melancholic note. In a lonely duet with pianist Anschell, Marriott's horn talks, telling a sad tale in a rich, warm voice. A perfect ending to a first-rate jazz set.
Track Listing: Take It to the Ozone; Masqualero; Spring is Here; Little Frances; Detour Ahead; Brothers and Sisters; You Only Live Twice; Circadian Rhythms; Almost Blue.
Personnel: Thomas Marriott: trumpet and flugelhorn; Mark Taylor: saxophones (1, 2, 4, 6, 8); Bill Anschell: piano and Fender Rhodes; Jeff Johnson: bass; Matt Jorgensen: drums; Joe Locke: vibes (1, 7).