Weekend Listening Tip: Human Spirit

In a meeting of east and west, April’s Ballard Jazz Festival in Seattle brought together New York pianist Orrin Evans with Human Spirit. Led by trumpeter Thomas Marriott, alto saxophonist Mark Taylor and drummer Matt Jorgensen, the Seattle quintet is attracting international attention, in part because of this album featuring Evans as a guest.

(l to r) Orrin Evans, Thomas Marriott, Matt Jorgensen, Phil Sparks, Mark Taylor

Jim Wilke, who doubles as recording engineer and radio host, captured Human Spirit’s Ballard performance and will feature it on KPLU’s Jazz Northwest on Sunday. The program airs at 1 PM PDT on 88.5 FM in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Listeners elsewhere in the world will find it streamed at kplu.org. As usual, after the broadcast KPLU’s website will make a podcast available.

Ballard is a section of Seattle with a seafaring history and a fishing economy. Parts of it are yuppified without serious damage—so far—to its quaintness and historical character.

Wilke provided a description of the Jazz Walk:

The Ballard Jazz Walk is part of the annual Ballard Jazz Festival and includes a dozen or more venues featuring live jazz, all within walking distance of each other in old Ballard. Over 70 musicians played during the jazz walk and the music and people spilling out of the small clubs along the street provided a very festive atmosphere. The festival is produced by Matt Jorgensen and John Bishop with production coordination by Chad McCullough and supported by the Ballard business community.

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