Tom Marriott and Friends
Tom Marriott – trumpet
Mark Taylor – alto sax
Eric Verlinde – electric piano
Phil Sparks – double bass
Greg Williamson – drums

Eastside Jazz Club
Marriott Hotel, Bellevue
January 15, 2013

Started the night listening to this all-star quintet. As usual Phil Sparks was playing great bass.

Tom Marriott also played very well. His leadership was evident with the song selection,and the band’s balance. When I go to the Racer Sessions I feel like everyone’s Dad or Grandpa … Here I felt like a kid. The songs were all pretty straight ahead stuff or  recognizable ballads.

Eric Verlinde is a great piano player. As in any community or industry, some people get all the hype, some don’t enough. Unfortunately Eric may be in the latter category, not that others don’t deserve what they get (and some don’t), I just believe Mr Verlinde deserves more. He played some solos that really wowed the crowd.

Mark Taylor is a special musician. His is a unique, great tone. His presentation is mature, professional, thoughtful, and honest. He KO’ed everyone on “body and soul” during the second set.

Greg Williamson, owner of Pony Boy Records, is a master craftsman. A journeyman, straight ahead drummer. His brush work is very great. Good concise fills. He always puts the  music ahead of his own hype.

Thanks for the great music, men.

I spoke briefly with a young couple during the break. They thought the music was great and were wondering why the gig wasn’t better attended? Good question!

Cooksie and Lionel Kramer work very hard to provide good music in a comfotable atmosphere.

From the Marriott Hotel, Bellevue to the Owl and Thistle in Seattle. That’s like going from a first to third world country.

The Owl is a basic kinda joint, no cover on Tuesday nights, and potent drinks. After getting that important stuff out of the way, about the music.

Eric Verlinde and Jose Martinez on drums run the jam sessions on Tuesday nights. Music starts about 10, goes till about 1:30 in the morning. These two get some of Seattle’s best to rotate in and out for the bass player and front man(men) jobs. After a first set with the night’s house combo, the place opens up for a jam session.

Last week, the place was hosted by Bebop and Destruction reunion. It also saw the return of Jose as he was out for a while with an injury. That was a really fun night.

On this night, Eric and Jose brought Chris Symer on bass and Gregg Belisle-Chi on guitar on board for the first set. Everyone was cooking. Jose plays so fast. Man, he’s exciting to watch and listen to. This one tune his left hand was going nuts. This guy is too good, and his playing shouldn’t be missed.

As earlier on the other gig, Eric was bringing it, looser, more relaxed. Chris and Gregg rounded out a great first set. Everyone playing brilliantly with a lot energy. A lot of fun.The first sets are always great.

For the jam sessions sometimes the musicians aren’t very good. To Eric and Jose’s credit they’re not denied the opportunity to play. So sometimes the sessions can be disappointing.

Most of the time some of Seattle’s best musicians show up. Once in a while  the cats from Jazz Alley come down after their gig. So most of the time  the jams are cool.

Thanks Eric, Jose, and everyone else for the all the fun.

Live Review