May 2015, Vol. 31, No. 5
In April, I spotted a social media post that he was leading a quartet in Seattle at the Owl ‘N Thistle. The gig wasn’t listed on his website, but I knew his strong following would draw a crowd. I headed down to the club to take a listen and be on the scene.
I wasn’t alone. Not by a long shot. There were only a few open seats when I arrived. I recognized many musicians in the audience. Some had come for the jam session that would commence after Marriott’s first set, and some were just out to hear good music and stay connected to each other.
I found Marriott near the bar, his tinted glasses, bald scalp, and black shirt masking emotion. But his body movements gave off the focus and intensity of an FBI Special Weapons and Tactics agent preparing for assault – earnest, efficient, effortless.