Origins. It was 2010, midday on a Saturday at The Press Room in Portsmouth, Larry Garland’s weekly Jazz Lunch. The band was a quintet: Larry on piano, Tom Barron trumpet, Brian Richardson guitar, Jeff Lind bass, and Terry MacDonald on drums.Terry was thinking, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had more opportunities to play. Hmmm.”
The more he thought about it, the more he liked the idea. But maybe, he thought, it would be easier to get gigs with a trio. He broached the idea with Brian and Jeff. Would they be interested? The answer was affirmative.
The instrumentation, then, would be guitar, bass and drums. So far so good. And what to call the new trio? For some reason, Terry got to thinking about something Paul Desmond had said quite famously. Desmond, the long-time alto saxophonist with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, was known for the quality of his sound, a tone so beautiful that listeners invariably remarked on it. Desmond’s comment on the subject: “I think I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to sound like a dry martini.”
Terry thought, “The sound of a dry martini: cool, crisp, sophisticated, with a bit of sting to it. That’s our formula!” And the trio was born, along with a sense of the kind of music it would play.
Dry Martini’s debut gig was an auspicious one: a live broadcast fromThe Press Room over Portsmouth’s community radio station. It turned out to be a good way
to launch a new trio, establishing Dry Martini quickly, after which the group grew in popularity attracting increasingly larger audiences to its gigs, mostly at The Press Room.
The year 2013 marked a turning point for Dry Martini, when its guitarist, Brian Richardson, decided to move on. When that happened,Terry contemplated the possibilities and soon focused on the guitarist Marion Campos-Gullotti. Marion would bring a new flavor to Dry Martini. Born and raised in Paris, France, her musical influences, jazz certainly prominent among them, were varied. She’s accomplished in both electric and acoustic guitars, with interests that go beyond jazz to flamenco music, Brazilian and even the Brazilian roots music called “choro,” the music that set the stage for Brazilian samba. Marion is also a gifted composer, whose music is one of the features of every Dry Martini performance.
Since 2013, then, the members of Dry Martini have been Marion Campos-Gullotti, guitar; Jeff Lind, bass; and Terry MacDonald, drums. Its music, like the concoction for which it is named, is a special mix—one of American Songbook standards, modern jazz classics, Latin gems, and, of course, the original music of Marion Campos-Gullotti.
“I think I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to sound like a dry martini.”