Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
363

Thomas Marriott: Flexicon

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count Views
Thomas Marriott: Flexicon 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 is featured on vibes on a couple of tunes.

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.

The set blasts off with Freddie Hubbard's "Take it to the Ozone" on some high octane unison horn blowing and a pedal-to-the-metal ensemble work. Marriott's first solo suggests he should be mentioned in the same breath with Wynton Marsalis and Terence Blanchard in terms of purity of tone and control of his instrument. He gives way to Locke, who adds a buoyant luminescence to any situation he joins.

Wayne Shorter's "Masquelero" recalls Miles Davis' second great quintet work—mysterious, dangerous, and full of dark shadows. Saxophonist Mark Taylor, on soprano here, playing entrancing lines in front of drummer Matt Jorgenson's waves-on-the-beach percussion. Pianist Bill Anschell, 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 bass solo.

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).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Urban Folklore
Urban Folklore
Origin Records
2015
buy
Return of the East-West Trumpet Summit
Return of the...
Origin Records
2015
buy
Urban Folklore
Urban Folklore
Origin Records
2014
buy
Constraints & Liberations
Constraints &...
Origin Records
2011
buy
Constraints and Liberations
Constraints and...
Origin Records
2010
buy
Flexicon
Flexicon
Origin Records
2009
buy
Miles Davis Miles Davis
trumpet
Charlie Parker Charlie Parker
sax, alto
Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
trumpet
Claudio Roditi Claudio Roditi
trumpet
Dave Douglas Dave Douglas
trumpet
Sean Jones Sean Jones
trumpet
Sheryl Bailey Sheryl Bailey
guitar, electric
James Zollar James Zollar
trumpet

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.