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Thomas Marriott: Urban Folklore

Stefano Merighi By

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Il quartetto di Thomas Marriott in questione rappresenta una bella sintesi del jazz americano: Marriott da Seattle, Eric Revis californiano, Orrin Evans erede della scuola di Philadelphia, infine Donald Edwards da New Orleans. Ma le origini non condizionano più di tanto una musica ecumenica, che vive sulla brillantezza tecnica, su un "esperanto" jazzistico che, se poco ha da dire di nuovo, conferma una saggezza di pensiero e una piacevolezza d'ascolto indubitabili.

Thomas Marriott ha vissuto un decennio a New York, assorbendo una padronanza del suo strumento che lo avvicina alla scuola hard bop storica ma che non gli impedisce di indagare qualche forma più aperta. Le sue composizioni vogliono esternare un sentimento, una situazione (la nascita della figlia, uno spleen esistenziale, una dedica amicale..) e si apprezzano per le sequenze di sviluppo improvvisativo più che per gli scheletri tematici, in verità un po' deboli. "Apophis" e "The Tale of Debauchery" viaggiano tra narrazioni di swing moderno e un funk un po' risaputo, con tracce di coltranismi dovuti più che altro a certa filiazione del pianismo di Orrin Evans da quello di McCoy Tyner.

Un'emozione arriva da "Room 547," l'episodio più ricercato, che evoca Miles prima che Revis offra il suo suono sontuoso e Evans emerga anche come pianista originale, intelligente. Il resto dell'album si affida a riff e temi piuttosto semplici, con l'eccezione di "Living on the Minimum," costruita su un "turnaround" di sapore blues, con intensi scambi della sezione ritmica e interventi solistici di ottima fattura. La virtù del quartetto risiede nella capacità dei singoli di captare intuitivamente le evoluzioni di ciascuno, di interagire con velocità e gusto, di non cedere mai alla voglia di primeggiare. Merito di Marriott questo, specie in qualità di leader.

Track Listing: Apophis; The Tale of Debauchery; Room 545; Mo-Joe; What Emptiness Can Do; Locked Up; Living on the Minimum; I'm Vibing You; Washington Generals.

Personnel: Thomas Marriott: tromba; Orrin Evans: piano; Eric Revis: contrabbasso; Donald Edwards: batteria.

Title: Urban Folklore | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Origin Records

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