Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Ray Vega & Thomas Marriott: East-West Trumpet Summit

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

This Ray Vega/Thomas Marriott dual trumpet release emphasizes collective interaction, cohesive ensemble presentation and the spirit of teamwork embodied in the title, though there are also plenty of times during the eight songs where differences in style and approach are evident despite the fact they’re playing identical trumpets. Both men are superb melodic interpreters, and the session’s program choices, which include renditions of Horace Silver’s “Juicy Lucy,” the fluid, gorgeously played opening tune “It’s You Or No One” and a Monk/Ellington medly “Round Midnight/In A Sentimental Tune,” prove ideal for each trumpeter’s upper register flurries, dips and octave leaps. Even the rhythm section mixes recruits from different sections, with New York pianist Travis Shook joining forces with Seattle bassist and drummer Jeff Johnson and Matt Jorgensen.

The twin trumpeters demonstrate more signature stylistic tendencies on their own tunes, whether it’s Vega’s swoops, excellent mid-register lines and bright sound Vega on his “It’s A New York Thing” and “Only Of A Season” or Marriott’s declarative phrasing, attacking approach and extensive range on “Pelham Gardens” and “Bishop Island.” As the primary non-brass soloist, Shook is elegant on the ballads and explosive on the uptempo tunes, while Johnson (at his best on “It’s You Or No One”) and Jorgenson (uniformly steady and tight) make a fine rhythm section.

Rather than an instrumental battle or cutting contest, “East-West Trumpet Summit” underlines the artistry that results when great musicians from diverse backgrounds find common ground rather than seek to establish a pecking order or spotlight rivalries.

Originally Published