Urban Folklore

Thomas Marriott and the Orrin Evans trio at the Royal Room.

Thomas Marriott and the Orrin Evans trio at the Royal Room.

Seattle-based trumpet player Thomas Marriott introduced a new suite of music at The Royal Room that is just mind-blowing. He was accompanied at the unveiling by Orrin Evans on piano, Eric Revis on bass and Donald Edwards on drums. The quartet recorded Marriott’s tunes the next day for a CD, “Urban Folklore,” to be released on Origin Records.

The Royal Room, in Columbia City, which is nearby for me, was as packed as I’ve ever seen it. I’d also never seen a band earn a standing ovation and cries for an encore, in a venue like the Royal Room.

Needless to say, Marriott and company really turned it out.
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Performance Art: Jazz

Andy Clausen (left) looks on as Riley Mulherkar takes a solo on trumpet at the Royal Room.

Andy Clausen (left) looks on as Riley Mulherkar takes a solo on trumpet at the Royal Room.

I met a mother of a jazz drummer last night during the amazing performance by Thomas Marriott and Joe Locke at Tula’s and, as I was explaining my enthusiasm for photographing artists in performance, realized that a lot of my jazz work is not present on this blog. So I’m rectifying some of that.
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Multimedia Jazz and Thomas Marriott

As my multimedia ideas and capabilities have evolved, it has been nice to intersect them with the evolution of jazz trumpeter Thomas Marriott, one of my favorite musicians and friend. Marriott on Sunday headlined a concert for the Earshot Jazz Festival, considered by Downbeat to be “Seattle’s most important annual jazz event.” The concert, at Tula’s in Seattle, highlighted Marriott’s own works, which are formidable, and Marriott had a great supporting cast, which included local sax player Mark Taylor and pianist Travis Shook, an electric performer who was in from New York City for the show.

I’m a big fan of jazz and a big fan of trumpet players, dating back to Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan and Miles Davis and stretching to Wynton Marsalis, whom I started following when he was just a young lion in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Marriott is moving into the realm of the former because he’s more of an artist than musician, with inventive and emotive approaches to his tunes. I never get tired of his music.

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This is my third post about Marriott, and each has discussed a shooting (still and video) environment with its own unique challenges. The first shoot took place at Ama Ama, a restaurant and bar with no stage and little ambient lighting; the second shoot was at The Triple Door, with its big stage and good stage lighting. Tula’s, which has been the local showcase for jazz, is more typical of jazz clubs you’ll find in other parts of the country, with a small stage engulfed by tables and a bar, with stage lighting that is a bit more localized.
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