Personnel: Thomas Marriott (trumpet, flugelhorn); Mark Taylor (alto saxophone); Gary Versace (Hammond b-3 organ); Matt Jorgensen (drums).
Audio Mixer: Don Gunn.
Liner Note Authors: Tom Conrad; Thomas Conrad.
Recording information: Avast Studios, Seattle, WA (04/15/2009).
Photographers: Chad McCullough ; Jim Levitt.
Trumpeter Thomas Marriott has always been one of the brightest stars in the Origin Records stables, and his Human Spirit album wanders through extremities of both speed and composition before it's through. This is a rare album that showcases all of the players at their highest levels, in both solo formats and intertwined. Marriott and saxophonist Mark Taylor (who appears in many combination with Marriott) mingle their lines regularly, playing off one another in a sort of post-bop mirroring of the Diz and Bird interplay. Gary Versace works his way back and forth from post-bop into something closer to electronica on the Hammond B-3. Drummer Matt Jorgensen holds up the rhythm in a bass-free quartet, and occasionally works in more grandiose flourishes, while each piece here (the tracks are primarily originals from Marriott, but also include a Duke Ellington piece and a Miles Davis piece) contributes something of a different mood, thereby showcasing different aspects of the ensemble's playing abilities (a growling organ in "Hiding in Public," a bubbling organ in "You Don't Know What Love Is"). This is the key to the album -- the mix of styles and spotlighted abilities created by a set of top-flight players in their primes working together. ~ Adam Greenberg