Get better as you get older. That's the idea in art, or anything else. Trumpeter Sal Marquez, one of Los Angeles' premier post-bebop trumpeters, subscribes to this viewpoint.
A journeyman who's made his name playing with top-of-the-line talents such as Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Frank Zappa and the Beach Boys, Marquez says that he has experienced some recent artistic growth, which has allowed him to further relax and play from within.
"Music is a quest, and I'm getting to the point where I don't want to think on the bandstand, I just want to play," said Marquez, 56, of Mar Vista. "It's like the more you play, the more taking things in a different direction feels natural. It's like, 'Let's just listen and go with it.' "
Marquez, who has eye-catching silver gray hair and a resonant barrel-bottom voice, is impressive. He has a powerful controlled tone that can deliver a number of brass colors as he renders timeless themes, from "Bye Bye Blackbird," which Miles Davis brought into the jazz pantheon to "Inner Urge," a difficult but enchanting modern piece, written by the acclaimed saxophonist Joe Henderson. His subsequent solos, buoyed by a lithe rhythmic sense, are filled with appealing lines that touch the ear and the intellect.