This is the fifth year that Jose Gonzalez is performing with his trio the whole of jazz's greatest contribution of the holiday season, Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas. And we must love this work because it expresses Christmas feelings in a very urban way. It is indeed the sound of the holiday season in a big city and not that no-place out there in the country. In this jazz classic, the snow falls on apartment buildings and not on a forest. CM
Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center
Thomas Marriott gathers a who's who of local jazz talent for a groovy time at the Royal Room, including Tarik Abuzied, Tim Kennedy, Skerik, Mark Taylor, and Farko Dusamov. Put it in your ears. To celebrate his 40th time around the center of the solar system, and 33 years of learning and playing music, local jazz trumpeter Thomas Marriott is presenting a new project tonight called The 'Ceptet. This will certainly be a good show for the simple reason Marriott is a solid trumpeter. He has a very clear and technically flawless style. He almost never disappoints. To get a good idea of his sound and mastery, I recommend listening to his 2014 recording Urban Folklore, an album that rightly received lots of praise from regional and national jazz critics. CM
The Royal Room
Jose Gonzalez takes on Vince Guaraldi's holiday classic with his trio.
Tim Noah’s Thumbnail Theater
The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra plays a concert honoring the work of big band legend Duke Ellington. This is the annual concert of Sacred Music by Duke Ellington. Ellington was, of course, the greatest and most creative figure of the big band era. He had, one could argue, three main musical projects: One was the production of dance-hall hits, two was the production of serious black music (music that would represent the 400-year history of African descendants in the world that was new to Europeans), and three was the production of pieces that expressed his religious/existential feelings. Tonight is devoted to the third, and in many ways most profound, of Ellington's projects. Anyone who has heard his composition "Come Sunday" instantly understands that Ellington felt God as something that's inside and not outside of (or remote from) the human experience. He was, in short, a Spinozist. And so was, for that matter, John Coltrane. The theology of Spinoza, a 17th century Dutch Jewish philosopher, has many features that agree with jazz spirituality. CM
Composer and bassist Rene Hart hits the Royal Room, with superlative local musicians in tow, including singer Dawn Clement, big band maestro Thomas Marriott, experimental freak-sax man Skerik, and beloved drummer D'vonne Lewis.
The Royal Room
Organ jazz unit McTuff closes out the year at the Hard Rock.
Hard Rock Cafe
Jeremy Pelt is a 39-year-old American trumpeter. His style is often compared to the three trumpet masters of the modern era: Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, and Freddie Hubbard. (Though I hear mostly Hubbard in his trumpet style.) There is a pronounced academic side to Pelt's work. Many of his albums explore the jazz modes of the past with the seeming goal of mastering the technique and innovations of those times. His latest album, Tales, Musings and Other Reveries, does, however, contain a tribute to Eric Garner, a black man who was choked to death by the NYPD last year. As the purpose of the performance tonight is to support Pelt's new album, we can expect to hear his reflective, angular, and deeply felt tribute to Garner. CM
Every Second Wed
Local label Tables & Chairs is now curating the second Wednesdays at Vermillion, featuring local jazz talent.