All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Extended Analysis

554

Thomas Marriott: Thomas Marriott: Both Sides of the Fence

By

Sign in to view read count
Thomas Marriott
Both Sides of the Fence
Origin Records
2007



In 1999, Thomas Marriott won the prestigious Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition sponsored by the International Trumpet Guild and the Herb Albert Foundation. Michael Caldwell wrote in the March 2000 International Trumpet Guild Journal: "[His] confident stage demeanor and intense interest in the rhythm section adds depth and character to his performance. A particularly interesting aspect of Marriott's playing is his ability to intentionally displace phrases without losing the flow of the tune. Marriott is a musician who consistently addresses musical considerations without any apparent technical difficulties."

A Seattle native, he has been back in the Puget Sound region since 2004 after approximately four years in New York City; he moved there in 2000 after joining Maynard Ferguson's big band and did three world tours with Ferguson. He worked with a batch of world-class musicians including Bob Berg, Brian Lynch, Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente and Eric Reed. Marriott also was commissioned to compose three original works for the Ground Floor Dance Collaborative and fronted his own bands while in the NYC metro area.

Both Sides of the Fence features a superb quartet: Marriott on trumpet and flugelhorn; Marc Seales playing piano and Fender Rhodes; Jeff Johnson on bass; and drummer John Bishop. Vibraphonist Joe Locke is a special guest on the Crombie-Green standard "So Near, So Far" and on Chick Corea's "Tones for Joan's Bones." Locke and Marriott co-lead a quartet that performed February 23rd on the main stage at the Denver Jazz Festival (coincidentally just as this review was being completed.) Seattle jazz icon Hadley Caliman is also a guest, playing gorgeous tenor saxophone on Marriott's composition "What the Mirror Said."

Marriott's luminous, warm tone is rare among post-bop trumpeters. There is plenty of fire in his playing, but it is a subdued glow rather than a raging inferno. The trumpet's heraldic history lends itself to an aggressive, "in-your-face" quality of expression by many players; in jazz, tone has taken a backseat to quicksilver ideas and complex lines for the most part since the days of Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, et al. Marriott is an enormously subtle player who retains a pure, rounded, opulent timbre even when negotiating the "fly specks on paper" steeplechases favored by the bop and hard bop originators; witness his brief adamantine solo on the title selection, a Marriott original. An analogue that springs to mind is Art Farmer, who also had an uncanny way of making a decidedly muscular instrument sound positively delicate. Don't confuse delicacy with wimpiness however; there's a strong sense of power held in reserve: a cathexis for jazz in its myriad forms rather than a catharsis of unbounded emotion. When Marriott reaches into the higher registers there's no feeling of strain or pushiness. He is a master of melodic improvisation.

The program on this disc is remarkably fresh and variegated. Marriott's original compositions—"Both Sides of the Fence," "The Ninnen" and "What the Mirror Said"—are memorable melodies that remain in one's consciousness long after the CD has ceased to spin. There are three pieces that might be termed "not-so- standard standards": "So Near, So Far," the Dubin-Warren "Summer Night" and Ernesto Lecuona's "The Breeze and I." An engaging symmetry—three threes—is completed with the inclusion of a trio of unhackneyed pieces from the jazz canon: Duke Ellington's "New World A Comin'," Freddie Hubbard's "Sky Dive" and "Tones for Joan's Bones."

There aren't any duds in this collection. It would be pointless to attempt a play-by-play description as the program is jam-packed with highlights, including brilliant solo work from Seales. His Fender Rhodes lends an early CTI era Freddie Hubbard ambiance to "The Ninnen," a feeling that is echoed less obliquely three tracks later on Hubbard's "Sky Dive." Marriott is not as coruscating as Hubbard was in his prime; he may be somewhat less flashy, but his melodically imaginative solos tell some convincing stories. Marriott deserves kudos for interpreting the infrequently played "New World A Comin'." It's a ravishingly beautiful performance. Marriott remains muted throughout and—unlike scores of otherwise original trumpeters—doesn't sound anything at all like Miles Davis. Miles and his followers often sound as if they're trying to blow the mute right out of the bell. Not so with Marriott.

2007 may still be in its infancy, but I'd wager that this CD stands a good chance of being chosen as record of the year when Earshot conducts its annual poll. In addition to frequent performances with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Carlos Cascante y su Tumbao, Marc Seales' New Quintet and Greta Matassa, Marriott may be heard every Sunday at the Sunset Tavern in Ballard.

Track listing: Both Sides Of The Fence; So Near, So Far; The Ninnen; Summer Night; New World A Comin'; Sky Dive; The Breeze And I; What The Mirror Said; Tones For Joan's Bones.

Personnel: Thomas Marriott Trumpet & Flugelhorn; Marc Seales Piano & Fender Rhodes; Jeff Johnson Bass; John Bishop Drums; Joe Locke Vibes (2 & 9); Hadley Caliman Tenor Saxophone (8).


Title: Thomas Marriott: Both Sides of the Fence | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Origin Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

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

Interviews
Jazz Near Me
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Cool Season

The Cool Season

Origin Records
2019

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
Constraints and Liberations

Constraints and...

Origin Records
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 Extended Analysis
Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Love, Gloom, Cash, Love Extended Analysis
Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Motel Shot: Expanded Edition Extended Analysis
Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead Motion Picture Soundtrack Extended Analysis
Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead...
by Doug Collette
Published: July 14, 2017
Read Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition Extended Analysis
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition Extended Analysis
Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Love, Gloom, Cash, Love" Extended Analysis Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Motel Shot: Expanded Edition" Extended Analysis Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition" Extended Analysis Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981" Extended Analysis Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "60th Monterey Jazz Festival" In Pictures 60th Monterey Jazz Festival
by Roberto Cifarelli
Published: September 26, 2017
Read "Gary Peacock Trio at the Regattabar Jazz Club" Live Reviews Gary Peacock Trio at the Regattabar Jazz Club
by Nat Seelen
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Mats Gustafsson" What I'm Listening to Now Mats Gustafsson
by Vincenzo Roggero
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton At Yoshi's" Live Reviews Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton At Yoshi's
by Walter Atkins
Published: March 24, 2018