Origin Records and trumpeter Thomas Marriott are among this blog's "old friends"; both were featured in some of my earliest reviews. If you scan through the site's listing you'll find 7 CDs where they're featured together. Origin was among the first of the "new breed" jazz labels founded in the very late 20th century, and Marriott was - and still is - a frequent leader or sideman on the company's albums.
Marriott is a West Coast artist, having begun in the musically diverse Seattle area. After winning a prestigious jazz trumpet competition in 1999, he relocated to New York City and then toured the world as a member of Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau Band. Marriott has played with scores of great and near-great artists. He's a master of his instrument; his tone can be brilliant or lush, depending on what the music requires, and he can swing superbly.
Marriott is supported here by pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Donald Edwards. Marriott wrote and arranged all the tunes, and his melodies are oriented by theme. "Living on the Minimum," as one example, relates to times in life when one may have money problems, and must make every penny count; "What Emptiness Can Do" reflects on the loss of a loved one. Alternatively, when everything is going great, your thoughts may turn toward a good friend: "Mo-Joe" is dedicated to Joe Locke, one of Marriott's favorite artists.
This album is ideal for listeners in the mood for some truly "adult" jazz.