Red Raspus Music

Home of Musician and Educator David Marriott, Jr.

David Marriott, Jr. is a jazz trombonist, composer/arranger, educator, and blogger. A two-time Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award recipient and winner of the 1999 National Jazz Trombone Competition, David is active in a variety of Seattle jazz groups, including the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Zubatto Syndicate and his own critically-acclaimed groups Septology and Triskaidekaband.

Filtering by Category: Personal Gigs

Project Live Double Feature: Jillian's and Boundary Bay Brewery

Friday night at Jillian's was fun, but slightly cut-down: we lost both our drummer and singer for the gig within two hours of starting the show. We made do with one of the drummers from another band, stretched the tunes out a bit, and filled our set with a nice mix of spoken word, improvised jazz, and hard-hitting hip-hop grooves. Not the best gig by Project Live, but a solid outing. However, I hesitate to say that our gig Saturday night WAS our best gig!

Saturday night at the Boundary Bay Brewery in Bellingham -- who'da thunk that this would be the party center of the universe? The guys from Below Average Produtions and Space Band brought us up to do a quadruple bill, with Cast of Characters finishing out the night. It was a long afternoon getting up there, and even an longer night getting back to Seattle (5am), but the gig and brew environment was well worth the effort. Project Live is really starting to find a new voice and direction with the addition of Brian Hillman from BAP as our new vocalist. Brian can do it all -- I have yet to be disappointed or left wanting more whenever I hear Brian. Be sure to check out our next show to hear him do his thing!

Marriott Brothers Quartet at the Musicquarium

After playing a function at Benaroya Hall for the Mayor's office, our quartet with Ryan Burns on organ and Matt Jorgensen on drums headed across the street to play at the Musicquarium at the Triple Door. If you've been reading this blog, you know I've come down many times to hear music in this venue, but this was my first chance to play here. We played a nice mix of jazz classics and originals by guys in the band -- standard procedure for the Musicquarium. The audience is always fairly balanced between listeners and non-listeners, but thankfully the listeners tend to sit toward the front! I had a great time playing here, especially in the organ group idiom -- this really tends to work at this club, the funky groovy thing. I look forward to playing here again because, as I said to Paul deBarros this summer, "This is my favorite new venue in Seattle!"

Emerald City Jazz Orchestra at Tula's

Wow! This was a fun gig tonight -- while I won't comment on my hang at The Owl and Thistle (just hanging and drinking), this gig deserves more than just a few sentences.

First off, the band was loaded with killer soloists: Travis Ranney, Steve Tressler, Vanessa and Vern Seilert, Thomas Marriott, and Reuel Lubag, to name a few. With Greg "Bam Bam" Williamson and Chuck Kistler rounding out the rhythm section, I can only say that this band is certainly ripening with age. Add a whole bunch of power charts from our own Matso Limtiaco and elsewhere across the country and you've got one helluva great night of music. I'll go ahead and give you the sets, too, so you can see what you missed:

First Set:

  • Come Rain or Come Shine - arr Matso Limtiaco
  • Speak No Evil - arr Matso Limtiaco
  • Stella by Starlight - arr Matso Limtiaco
  • You Stepped Out Of A Dream - arr Matso Limtiaco
  • Blues #4 - comp/arr Matso Limtiaco
  • On The Up and Up - comp Jim McNeely, arr Matso Limtiaco
  • Jumpin� At The Woodside - arr Matso Limtiaco
Second Set:
  • Manteca - arr Matso Limtiaco
  • All Blues - arr Matso Limtiaco
  • Giant Steps - arr Matso Limtiaco
  • Pieces of Dreams - comp Michel LeGrand, arr Dick Lieb
  • Tell Me A Story - comp/arr Matso Limtiaco
  • Claudettes Way - comp Pepper Adams, arr Matso Limtiaco
  • Cherokee - arr Matso Limtiaco
Third Set:
  • Honeysuckle Rose - arr Matso Limtiaco
  • Blues #2 - comp/arr Matso Limtiaco
  • Hi Fly - arr Matso Limtiaco
  • Inner Urge - arr Matso Limtiaco
  • In A Mellow Tone - arr Matso Limtiaco
The momentum of this band is back and, as the title of our first CD describes, alive and swingin! Be sure to stay tuned for the new ECJO website -- launching soon -- and the new CD, Come Rain or Come Shine. The Emerald City Jazz Orchestra performs at Tula's the second Tuesday of every month -- see you there!

Two Gigs with Marc Fendel

Saturday was another full day of music making, this time with longtime friend and musical compatriot, Marc Fendel. I first met Marc at the Port Townsend Jazz Workshop back in the early 90s when we were still in high school, and since his move to Seattle after graduating from Berklee, he's been on the scene with such bands as Bebop and Destruction, Big Bang Band, and his newest solo project, Swampdweller.

Marc had called me a few weeks ago to play a benefit gig for Books to Prisoners, a non-profit organization based in Seattle that gets books and other reading materials to prisoners across the country. While we were ably supported by Eric Bell on drums and Jon Batisti on guitar, we were without our bassplayer Lamar Lofton the whole first set, which certainly made things a bit tough, but kept a nice open sound for the event. Lamar made it for the second set, but we lost Jon (who had to split to another gig). We wrapped up the second set, and Fendel and I headed directly to Jack Straw Studios for the second-half of our double-header.

Doug Haire has been running the Sonarchy radio program for years, and it's always a pleasure to work with him. He's easy going, super-experienced, and generally seems at home among musicians, especially when it's music that fits his own tastes. Instead of doing the show live like it used to be, we just played for a solid hour and taped it direct -- it still feels like we played a full, straight set, and even though it isn't broadcast live, there are no edits or fixes or second takes. This is the way to record music!

Fendel's Swampdweller (at least for this session) is: Marc Fendel, Jay Roulston, Ari Zucker, Joe Doria, Andy Sells, Farko Dosimov, and Mune Yamakawa on turntables. I basically told Fendel after hearing the first CD that I wanted to be on the new one - period! And what a fun session it was -- a great mix of groove, jazz, turntablism, and more mixed with original compositions by Fendel and Zucker. Be sure to look out for this program on Sonarchy -- it should also be available as a podcast as some point in time.

Band Battle III with Project Live at Jillian's

Here we are at the finals of the Seattle Jillian's Band Battle III, and it was certainly a fun night of music making. Project Live is still a relatively new band, and is going through its growing pains, but the energy and vibe of what this group is doing makes me feel like the possibilities are endless.

There were four bands in the finals tonight, and they were (in the order they performed):

  • Below Average Productions
  • Alter Ego
  • Doxology
  • Project Live
I can honestly say that the first three bands were all great, and any one of them could have won the favor of the judges. Our set, while certainly representative of what we do as a band, didn't have the polish and spark that the rest of the groups did. I think a few of the cats in the group got a little case of the nerves that affected their natural flow to function. But that's part of a new band's character -- it builds it's identity over time, and can only grow with more performance.


When all was said and done with the judges and their deliberation, the winner was...

DOXOLOGY
If you'd like to hear this band or learn more about them, be sure to visit their website. All of us with Project Live offer our congratulations -- represent Seattle for us, Doxology!

 

Be sure to stay tuned for more information about Project Live. We will be playing at Jillian's coming up in a few weeks as they begin to host live music on Thursday nights on the regular -- I'll be posting more about it coming up. Thanks to all who came out last night, and once again, congratulations to Doxology!

Usual Suspects Big Band at Tula's / The Owl and Thistle

More playing on Tuesday night with Jay Thomas and the Usual Suspects Big Band -- although he's threatening to change it to the Circular Firing Squad Big Band. As always, this band is a ton of fun to play with and listen to on Tuesday nights. I thought for tonight I'd give our set lists:

First Set:

  • And That's That, comp/arr Dennis Mackrel
  • Blues in Hoss' Flat - Basie classic
  • Pensativa - beautiful flute feature
  • I'm Getting Sentimental Over You - Greg Schroeder does the Dorsey thing
  • Ahunk Ahunk, comp/arr Thad Jones - Stuart MacDonald's alto solo was beyond words (you had to be there)
  • Duke's Choice, arr Bob Hammer - a Mingus gem in all its glory
  • A Night in Tunisia, arr. Mike Mossman - had fun blowing on this one; as Jay says, "I love this arrangement because it sounds just like Machito!"
Second Set:
  • Summer Serenade, arr Milt Kleeb - flugelhorn feature for Jay, but I think Jim Sisko played it
  • Star Eyes, arr Shuhei Mizuno - from the library of the Continued in the Ungerground Orchestra
  • It's Only a Paper Moon - lifted by Jon Wikan from a live recording of a Bill Ramsay arrangement for Count Basie
  • Moten Swing - another Basie classic
  • Elvin's Mambo, comp/arr Bob Mintzer
  • I Thought About You, arr Vern Seilert
  • Perceptive Hindsight, comp/arr Herb Phillips
  • Miss Fine, comp/arr Oliver Nelson
As usual, many of the band members made their way to The Owl and Thistle for the Bebop and Destruction jam session, including myself and Stuart MacDonald. We arrived to hear the classic jam session faux pas: a trumpet player playing WAY too long on a tune he obviously didn't know, and wasn't sounding better with each passing chorus. As a matter of fact, I couldn't even tell if he knew anything about harmony or theory... or anything! I felt bad for the other trumpet player playing with him -- Aham -- who sounded great. Fendel and I jumped up and played Solar and This I Dig of You to try and get things back on track, but as I said to Fendel: this is one of those times where you invoke the "two tune" rule, where you just politely ask the cat after he's played his two tunes to take a seat and let some other people play.

 

All in all, a fun night of music and socializing -- I'll probably have a repeat performance next week with the ECJO...

Port Townsend Jazz Festival - Saturday

Saturday at the Port Townsend Jazz Festival was a full one, to be sure. I started the day with a three hour rehearsal for the tribute to Count Basie on the afternoon concert. With John Clayton at the helm, and Byron Stripling and Carmen Bradford added to the usual mix, I have to say that this was by far the most pain-free rehearsal we've ever had up there. What's the lesson? Good music copying work + seasoned frontman and conductor = pain-free rehearsal.

Some friends from Seattle came up just before the afternoon concert, and all of us got our share of good music. Christian McBride's band was stellar as always -- this is a band that can play nearly any style of music out there related to jazz music, and make you think that each "thing" is the one thing that they do best. I never get tired of hearing this group; from Weather Report and Jaco to Bobby Hutcherson and the Spinners, it's all at the highest caliber with the Christian McBride Band. Kenny Barron and Regina Carter played a great duo program for the middle set; while not necessarily my "cup of tea", these two are definitely at the top of their respective games. The big band portion went off as the rehearsal did -- without a hitch. The perfect blend of vocals, solo features, Basie classics, and newer tributes, the tribute band couldn't have been more fun for either the listener or the performers.

After a quick buzz out to Beckett Point for a beachside dinner moment, we made it back to the McCurdy Pavilion to hear Benny Green and Russell Malone get into their duo thing, and while Russell Malone is certainly a tasty performer, Benny Green is a piano playing monster. I remember hearing Benny Green 15 years ago at Jazz Alley, and his playing continues to grow both technically and musically, while also getting more refined and controlled. From Charlie Parker to Roberta flack, I can only imagine that their recordings reflect the beautifully mellow sound and variety of tune choices we heard on the Mainstage that night. The Clayton Brothers Quintet finished out the evening concert with a full dose of Cannonball, Blakey, blues, and swing -- make no mistake! When it comes to quintet precision, arrangements, and craftsmanship, it sure can't get much better than this; Terrell Stafford and Jeff Clayton certainly recall the Cannonball Adderley Quintet frontline, and the diverse band-contributed compositions were equally suited. But for me, the real highlight was Emily, featuring beautifully melodic statements on bowed bass and alto. To be honest, I've rarely felt as moved when listening to live music as I was in those moments. I'll be going home to find this on a recording somewhere...

My friends and I decided to try and start the night at Ingrid Jensen and Terrell Stafford, only to find it already full! Before Terrell was even there yet! So we tried Pete's Place to hear my brother and the horn extravaganza, and again -- full! After our third miss, we jumped in the Surf, scarfed down a drink, and went to try and catch George Cables at the Upstage. Thankfully -- outdoor seating. The trio finished their set about the time we arrived, and by the time one of our group had to head back to Seattle, we were heading inside to catch the third set. George Cables, Carl Allen, and John Clayton were billed as Trio Magic, and I can't think of a more apt way to describe this trio. From Cables originals to It Could Happen to You and Over the Rainbow, Cables and Company are always a festival favorite, and with people filling every square inch of space in the room, this year was no exception in my book and anyone that heard them.

John Clayton spoke often this weekend about the musical family that is the Port Townsend Jazz Festival and Workshop. Never have I seen that feeling more openly on display than at the festival this year. To John Clayton, Becca Duran, Gregg Miller, and everyone else involved with making this year's festival a success -- bravo!

Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra at All-City Street Dance

I returned to my old chair in the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra as a sub this afternoon for the All-City Street Dance up at the Garfield Community Center. It is nice to know that some things never change! While the band still has the same litany of pros and cons from a performer's perpective, the audience always seems to turn out in excited droves to see this group of players.


I was certainly not the only person subbing in the band today -- at least six chairs were filled with people other than the regulars, but this made for some surprisingly interesting music. Julian Priester, certainly one of the most historically-connected players in Seattle, sounded as good as I've ever heard him play live -- so organic and natural sounding. Brian Kirk, jazz instructor at Seattle Central Community College, always brings a spark of energy and his diverse commerical background to the drum chair. Ed Lee, who I haven't heard in years, filled in the trumpet section next to regulars Brad Smith, Dennis Haldane, and Thomas Marriott. Along with super-strong solo support from folks like Travis Ranney, Bill Anthony, Mark Taylor, Phil Sparks, and Buddy Catlett, you can't go wrong, especially for a dance gig playing Fletcher Henderson, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and much more. But damn, what a long day! We rehearsed for two hours in the morning starting at noon, and we finished the gig at 8pm -- the real deal, eight-hour work shift! Plus, the majority of the day was spent outside, and while it was a beautiful summer day in Seattle, it was a hot one in slacks and dress shirts.


It is always fun to play with this group -- I've missed the chemistry between the players in this group, and while it can be volitile at times, it can also produce some great music from time to time. Thankfully, my time with the band before I went to New York has been well documented on the Origin Arts CD, SRJO Live, so I can relive some of those moments myself. Hopefully, I'll be able to get myself back with the group regularly and be able to experience this musical experimentation as it should be: in the present.

Project Live on KISS 106.1 Jackie and Bender Show

The Project Live story continues! After our big win at the Band Battle III semi-final last week, we were invited to play live this morning on KISS 106.1 during the Jackie and Bender Show. Despite not being able to bring a drumset in the studio and substituting two congas instead, the performance went off great! With the lighter vibe and open sound, I think the listening audience got a nice taste of Project Live without us giving away all the different things we do. Sammi was even kind enough to mention us in her official blog for the Jackie and Bender Show. The big finals are coming up on the 4th of August, so come on out to Jillians!

Emerald City Jazz Orchestra at Tula's

Another installment of Big Band Tuesday at Tula's, this time featuring the always swingin' Emerald City Jazz Orchestra. Originally a band for Microsoftees, it quickly evolved into the high-energy, no-holds-barred band that it has been for years. If you need evidence, just listen to the tunes we played in the second set: Jumpin at the Woodside, Honeysuckle Rose, Cherokee, Giant Steps... And there were MORE! Full contact big band -- maybe we should change the name! With such burning soloists like Travis Ranney, Vern Seilert, Steve Tressler, Alexey Nikolaev and more, this is a big band you really shouldn't miss in the Seattle area. Another recurring gig, the ECJO appears at Tula's the 2nd Tuesday of the month.