4

Thomas Marriott: Romance Language

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Trumpeter Thomas Marriott moved back to Seattle after the requisite New York stint, where he worked with Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau band, the Chico O'Farrill Orchestra, and vibraphonist Joe Locke. Back on west coast home ground, he connected with the Seattle-based Origin Records, where he released ten top-notch albums as a leader, including Individuation (2005), Crazy: The Music Of Willie Nelson (2008)Constraints and Liberations (2010), and East West Trumpet Summit (2010), a teaming with fellow trumpeter Ray Vega.

Marriott's previous releases reflect what he and his bands do live: take risks and create excitement. Romance Language, his eleventh release for the Origin Records label, reins this approach in, with an attempt to showcase "the simple beauty of a well-played melody." With this set of gorgeously executed ballads, he could not have been more successful at that attempt.

The band is a perfect conglomeration. Marriott on trumpet and flugelhorn, joined by drummer John Bishop and bassist Jeff Johnson—the Origin Records house rhythm section guys—vibraphonist Joe Locke, from Marriott's New York days, and Ryan Cohen on keys and programming (more on Cohen later).

Most any artist in any format tries to create some form of beauty. Romance Language, with its focus on the melodies of ten well-chosen (sometimes surprisingly chosen) tunes, offers up a transcendent tranquility and purity of approach that glows with a lovely and understated allure.

Pop songster and soundtrack composer Randy Newman's "Dexter's Tune," from the 1990 Awakenings (Columbia Pictures), opens the album, walking a line between melancholy and hopefulness. Also included are two tunes from the pen of vibraphonist Locke; one from the disc's co-producer Cohen, one from Stephen Sondheim, another from vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, guitarist Pat Metheny and more. Then the closer, a surprise: Harold Arlen's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Each tune shaped and produced flawlessly.

Now, back to Ryan Cohen, who, as well as playing keys, provides the lush-but-subtle orchestrations and the "software instrument performances and programming." The sophistication of his contribution is understated but immense. Some of the post-recording accentuations of Creed Taylor's CTI Records label (often unfairly maligned) of the late '60s come to mind, with the translucent sweeteners and transformative and soothing string-like backdrops.

All those words, and no mention yet of Marriott's horn-playing. So let's go: straight at you, relaxed, pure-toned—open horn or muted—and spot-on in the rendering of the simple beauty of the melodies. His strongest recording to date.

Track Listing: Dexter's Tune; Forgiveness; I Remember Sky; Piggyback; Always And Forever; Kampala Moon; Ghost In This House; Now; Alibi Room; Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Personnel: Thomas Marriott: trumpet, flugelhorn; Joe Locke: vibraphone, drum programming (9); Ryan Cohen: piano, fender rhodes, orchestration & software performances, programing; Jeff Johnson: bass; John bishop: drums.

Title: Romance Language | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Origin Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

Thomas Marriott
Romance Language

Yakima

Yakima

Thomas Marriott
Human Spirit

Diagram

Diagram

Thomas Marriott
Constraints & Liberations

Pelham Gardens

Pelham Gardens

Thomas Marriott
East-West Trumpet Summit

Circadian Rhythms

Circadian Rhythms

Thomas Marriott
Flexicon

Sing We Now of Christmas

Sing We Now of Christmas

Thomas Marriott
The Cool Season

Both Sides Of The Fence

Both Sides Of The Fence

Thomas Marriott
Both Sides Of The Fence

Album Reviews
Interviews
Jazz Near Me
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Read more articles
The Cool Season

The Cool Season

Origin Records
2019

buy
Romance Language

Romance Language

Origin Records
2018

buy
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

Related Articles

Read Trion Album Reviews
Trion
By Dan McClenaghan
April 22, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 22, 2019
Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019
Read A Pride Of Lions Album Reviews
A Pride Of Lions
By John Sharpe
April 21, 2019
Read Sunburst Finish Album Reviews
Sunburst Finish
By Glenn Astarita
April 21, 2019
Read This Should Be Fun Album Reviews
This Should Be Fun
By David A. Orthmann
April 20, 2019