Human Spirit

October 17th, 2012

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott, saxophonist Mark Taylor and drummer Matt Jorgensen joined pianist Orrin Evans (Bobby Watson’s former pianist) and bassist Essiet Essiet (Art Blakey’s last bassist) under the Human Spirit banner for two nights of  performances at Tulas in the 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival.

The East Coast artists vivified the harmonies while the Emerald City performers moistened the melodies and rhythms. Selections from the live performance were released as Dialogue (Origin, 2012). The program for this year’s festival performance includes original compositions by Marriott, Taylor and Jorgensen from Dialogue, plus new material.

Tula’s last night was the venue for a return of Human Spirit. If you missed them on Tuesday be sure to catch them on Weds. I was there last year when they recorded their album there at Tula’s and the music continues to feel great and more comfortable after repeated listenings over the past year.

2012 Earshot Jazz Festival  continues. Click on the schedule.

Saxophonist Taylor looks forward to the group because of the unknown elements and fresh surprises that can come from performing with two frequent collaborators and two new collaborators. He says, “Their interpretation and stylistic contributions to our tunes, and how that invariably steers us in different directions than we might otherwise go, is always intriguing to me.”

That sweet spot of social intimacy within artistic teams for maximum creativity also intrigues Brian Uzzi, a sociologist at Northwestern. In a study of Broadway musicals, Uzzi’s data revealed that the most successful work came from teams that “had some old friends, but they also had newbies. This mixture meant that the artists could interact efficiently – they had a familiar structure to fall back on – but they also managed to incorporate some new ideas. They were comfortable with each other, but they weren’t too comfortable.”

Check them out tonight.

– Steve Griggs

2012 Earshot Jazz Festival  continues. Click on the schedule.

One Response to “Human Spirit”

  1. Jazz Photography | Seattle Photographer Says:

    […] Watson’s former pianist) and bassist Essiet Essiet(Art Blakey’s last bassist) for the group Human Spirit at Tulas Jazz […]

Leave a Reply