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Tom Marriott Blindfolded

Ryan Burns By

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Trumpeter Thomas Marriott has established himself as one of the most exciting, sought after instrumentalists coast-to-coast over the past decade. His musicianship and creativity have gained him numerous awards and recognition throughout the music world. A Seattle native, Thomas first broke out onto the scene with The Marriott Brothers Quintet's 1997 CD release Open Season, co-lead by brother/trombonist Dave Marriott. The album won Seattle jazz radio KPLU's top pick for that year. Earshot Jazz Magazine readers voted the quintet the Best Emerging Group of 1997, an award Thomas won individually the following year. Having emerged rather rapidly, in 1999 The Marriott Brothers Quintet won another Earshot award for Best Northwest Acoustic Band of 1999. Also in 1999, Thomas was the winner of the prestigious Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition sponsored by the International Trumpet Guild and the Herb Albert foundation.

In 2000, Thomas joined Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau Band, and soon after moved to New York City. After completing three world tours with the band, Thomas was an active part of the New York music scene, and could be heard regularly with such luminaries as vibraphonist Joe Locke, The Tito Puente Orchestra, Richie Cole, The Bryan Lynch Big Band, The Chico O'Farrell Latin Jazz Orchestra, and Eric Reed; also appearing on recording projects by Rosemary Clooney, The Matt Catingub Band, Bob Berg and others. During his stay in New York, Thomas also had the opportunity to collaborate with the Ground Floor Dance Company in two original works.

Returning to the Northwest in June of 2004, Thomas has once again made Seattle his home. He is an active part of the Seattle music scene, both as a sideman and a leader. His upcoming album Individuation will be released in January of 2005, and features musicians from both Seattle and New York. Thomas Marriott endorses and plays the Vintage One Trumpet by C.G. Conn exclusively.

Artist: Art Blakey Quintet
Track: "Once in a While"
Recording: A Night at Birdland, Volume 1 (Blue Note 1954)
Personnel: Clifford Brown, trumpet; Horace Silver, piano; Curly Russell, bass; Art Blakey, drums
Composer: B. Green, M. Edwards

Tom Marriott: I know what this is. This is Art Blakey right, and Clifford Brown? This is the best Clifford Brown in my opinion.

All About Jazz: Really?

TM: What's the tune? "Once in a While," yeah.

AAJ: You like this better than the Clifford Brown/Max Roach stuff?

TM: I like it better. Man, it's a secret but I don't like Max Roach's drumming very much. Just something about his swing feel that like, doesn't rest with me right. His improvising on drum set I like, but these particular records' I mean Clifford sounds great on those (Max Roach) records, but to me his real playing is on these records, man. To me, these are the best Clifford Brown examples. Maybe it's just the rhythm section I think because like, Horace'Is it Horace Silver and Art Blakey? And Lou Donaldson? Yeah, this shit's bad, man.

AAJ: And Curly Russell.

TM: Yeah, Curly Russell. It's like two adjectives.

AAJ: Maybe Clifford's time lays in there better with Art, is that what you mean?

TM: For one, he seems to blow longer solos on these records too, because it's live.

AAJ: Have you ever transcribed his solos?

TM: Yeah. I transcribed this when I was in high school, actually. Not all of it, but a good portion of it. I used to play this song a lot. I used to be really into Clifford a lot, because in terms of like the "bebop" trumpet players man, he's such a kind of perfect package of just being able to play the trumpet ridiculously well. I mean there were really few guys ever to play the trumpet that well. But, there's something about it that I just sort of stopped really being into it because it's so nice all the time you know? It's so pleasant all the time and sometimes you are in the mood for something with a little more attitude to it. But that was my thing for a long time man; Clifford, that was what I was trying to do. I'd still like to be able to play the trumpet that well. I've heard some tapes of him practicing. He was practicing playing Cherokee just by himself with a metronome, and it's so unbelievable. He's nailing every change ' but you know he plays lots and lots of notes, and really keeps track of the time all the time, and there's never you know, like interplay with the rhythm section and stuff at all, you know. That's the shit. Art Blakey. Man that would've been so cool to have seen. 5 Stars.

Artist: Jerry Gonzalez and The Fort Apache Band
Track: "Bebop"
Recording: The River Is Deep (1982, Enja)
Personnel: Jerry Gonzalez, trumpet; Steve Turre, trombone; Andy Gonzalez, bass; many others'
Composer: Dizzy Gillespie


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