Human Spirit continues to shine, this time in a live setting?
Human Spirit is a band headed by Thomas Marriott, Mark Taylor, and Matt Jorgensen. Jorgensen's previous CD, Tattooed by Passion, was reviewed here in Oct 2011, and was in my top 10 CDs of that year. It was a tribute to his father-in-law, noted painter Dale Chisman. We also reviewed Marriott's CD, Human Spirit, last April. It featured Taylor, Jorgensen as well as Gary Versace. The core members have taken on the name Human Spirit and now add special guests as needed.
For the Earshot Festival the group added noted young pianist, Orrin Evans as well as veteran bassist, Essiet Essiet. They played on the opening weekend of the 2011 festival, and having Evans and Essiet aboard was a real coup for the band.
Listening to Dialogue, it is immediately apparent that the group was supercharged and ready to play for the sold out crowds at Tula's. "In Unity" kicks off the CD and Evans' piano intro takes off like a horse coming out of the starting gate. Taylor steps up with a blistering solo propelled by Jorgensen's assertive drumming. The band dials back mid-tune and Evans' energy and polish kicks in on his solo.
"Stepford and Son" follows and Marriott and Taylor communicate like a well-oiled machine. Tom and Mark have a telepathy honed by playing together for many years. With Matt pushing the pulse, "Stepford and Son" reaches crescendos before Marriott?s choruses.
Tom wrote the next two tracks, "Reversal of Fortune" and "Song for Samuel." The former has an anthemic winning melody, while the latter is more high energy post bop, and features Taylor's rapid fire alto attack.
Jorgensen's drives his tune, "Ridgecrest," and it is has a restless energy that propels Taylor into overdrive. Marriott sweetens the mix with his warm burnished trumpet tone that can reach the upper register like Freddie Hubbard used to do in his heyday.
"148 Lexington" is a welcome ballad that was written by Thomas. It showcases his lyrical side, and Essiet is afforded some quiet space to be strongly noticed. It's my favorite track on the CD. "Pelham Gardens" ends the dialogue at Tula's with more evidence of Marriott's trumpet mastery as well as an opportunity to fully appreciate Orrin Evans who has had a meteoritic rise both as a band leader and composer.
Dialogue is a testament to the cohesive talents of Human Spirit. Their special guests during the Tula's engagement help the band rise to a new level.