Like most of us, it seems like I have heard the name Marvin Stamm for as long as I’ve played trumpet. I’d heard about the Kenton years and the fantastic recording years and had seen his name advertised at ITG conferences for years. So, at the Columbus, GA ITG conference, I saw that he had a recital with a trio and decided to go. That particular conference I had a bunch of my students with me and was happy to see a handful of them in the audience for this concert. About halfway through the show one of them leaned over to me and said, “I think this is the best music I have ever heard!” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing either. It was ‘perfect music’. Marvin was playing with his Inventions Trio, which consists of trumpet, cello and piano. Personally, I love classical music and jazz music and have been attracted to music that finds a way to seamlessly blend the two styles. It is rare for me to find that perfect blend. I can’t stand listening to things like brass quintets play dixie or swing. They hardly ever actually swing, it’s a nod toward that art form but for me, somehow misses the mark and seems disrespectful. Anyway, I don’t want to further digress on this tangent… This Inventions Trio blended improvised music with through-composed composition that was to my ear, perfect in balance and seamless. Each member of the trio played with technical virtuosity as well as truly fantastic improvisation ability.
After the concert I drummed up the courage to talk with Marvin and he was such a warm and genuine person to talk with. I asked him if he would be a guest at an upcoming jazz fest at my school he said he would be interested and a few emails and phone calls later he spent a few days in Platteville at our February jazz fest. Here’s an interesting bit of trivia about Marvin. Some would call him an avid runner. I would think of him more as an “obsessed” runner. He told me he runs for an hour ever day. Every day. He says he may miss three days a year! That particular week in Wisconsin was unbelievably cold (-20 degrees), and he still ran every day!
We had Marvin play in front of our Festival Big Band and he was a dream to work with. All his charts were very cool and clean. He was fantastic with the audience and the students. And, he made all the post rehearsal/concert hangs memorable with great stories and camaraderie. All in all, I had a wonderful time and feel like I came away from the event with a great friend.
During one of the evening concerts, we broke the big band down and I got the opportunity to play “I’ll Remember April” with Marvin in a combo setting. I am playing flugel horn and he is on trumpet. Enjoy!