Thomas Marriott

Flexicon

origin 82526

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MUSIC REVIEW BY David Dupont, Cadence

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Thomas Marriott opens his session, Flexicon, with his own Hubbard cover, "Take it to the Ozone." Though Marriott clearly has learned as much from Hubbard as Gardner, what they've taken from the late trumpeter is different. Gardner captures the bluster and showmanship while Marriott has drawn from the lyrical side. I first encountered Marriott on Christmas sessions from Origin. I assumed he was an older journeyman, someone who had pared his style over the decades to the sweetest, fattest tones. Well, from what I can tell from the photos and notes on this session, he's indeed quite a bit younger, but that doesn't mean he sounds any less assured. As a producer, he serves himself well. He opens with pieces that evoke his predecessors--the aforementioned cover that with Joe Locke's vibes joining the fray sounds lifted from an old Blue Note date, Wayne Shorter's "Masqualero," and a swinging take on "Spring is Here" that with his probing chromatic lines evokes Miles Davis. the influences are but shadows; at core Mariott is his own man, conjuring shapely melodic counters. He shows that especially on the two ballads at the center of the recital, his own waltz, "Little Frances," and "Detour Ahead." Marriott emphasizes this side of his playing by concluding the recital with a wistful reading of "Almost Blue" with only pianist Bill Anschell for company. Locke also guests on the ballad "You Only Live Twice," allowing him to show a more sensitive side than his driving spot on the opener. Mark Taylor's soprano offers a bright-toned contrast to the leader's burnished tone. A winning effort.






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