Washington, DC jazz sextet Chaise Lounge is a cadre of musical pros who formed for a one-day gig that has lasted 13 years…and counting. Composer and producer Charlie Barnett originally brought the group together as hired guns to record a film soundtrack. At that session, the chemistry was instant. The players’ shared interests in jazz, cinematic scoring, sixties pop, and vintage vinyl made for a joyous meeting of mod minds. A band was born. Seven albums later, Chaise Lounge has dazzled crowds at venues large and small, from the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC to the storied Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood, California. Their one-of-a-kind sound—a mix of virtuoso jazz, singer/songwriter folk, and circa-1962 lounge—has made them one of the most popular live acts in the mid-Atlantic region and has shot their albums to top-20 rankings on the national CMJ jazz chart.
Listen to Marilyn Older’s luminous, inviting vocals for echoes of Anita O’Day and Peggy Lee. And listen, too, for wry lyrics that regularly inspire raucous audience sing-alongs as well as features on NPR. The players’ musical influences include Louis Prima, Sam Butera, and Sammy Davis Jr. Says renowned jazz writer Ken Borgers, “Chaise Lounge is a delicious, subtle, swinging ensemble that, to borrow a phrase from Duke Ellington, is beyond category.”
In concert, Chaise Lounge’s suits are vintage sharkskin and its performance is beguiling. Whether jamming in an intimate jazz club or fronting a full orchestra on one of their “Symphony Lounge” concert tours, the band displays serious chops with a decidedly lighthearted attitude. Members are Charlie Barnett on piano and guitar; Tommy Barrick on drums; Gary Gregg on sax, clarinet, and flute; Joe Jackson on trombone; Marilyn Older on vocals and piano; and Pete Ostle on bass. The band’s own tagline sums up its appeal: “Equal parts dry wit and dry martini.”
Meet The Players…
Marilyn Older has been singing professionally since she graduated as a music technology major from American University in Washington DC. A native of North Carolina, she has written songs and performed with a variety of bands including Nixon’s Cat and Dead Girls & Other Stories. As a pianist she toured with Doc Scantlin’s Royal Palms Orchestra playing engagements from New York’s Copacabana to a royal wedding in London. As a songwriter she has contributed songs to Chaise Lounge’s first CD, The Early Years and to a number of independent feature films, including Bama Girl, which premiered at the 2008 SXSW film Festival in Austin, Texas. She has been nominated for the Washington Area Music Awards as one of Washington DC’s best jazz vocalists.
Her other life consists of a career as the Director of the Holistic Practitioners’ Business Association, and raising her two children, Savannah and Frazier.
An accomplished and popular American composer, Charlie Barnett is the winner of numerous awards for his film scores, including the Rome International Film Festival’s Jerry Goldsmith Award. Barnett also writes music for television; his credits include Saturday Night Live, Weeds, Royal Pains, and Archer.
Barnett’s lively orchestral and chamber works are performed both nationally and internationally. Notable collaborations include a spoken-word piece written and performed with Dr. Maya Angelou.
As a producer, Barnett has recorded scores of pop and jazz albums for labels including Def Jam and Elektra. He has also been heard as an occasional commentator on NPR. His essay “Hitching a Ride with Junior McGee” was included in the network’s Classic Driveway Moments compilation.
Tommy Barrick can be heard with a variety of acts ranging from swing & jazz to latin, funk and punk around the DC area. His latest project is the go-go/mod fusion band Go Mod Go! Tommy has had the opportunity to perform throughout Europe and throughout the United States at The Knitting Factory, 9:30 Club, CBGB’s, Arlene’s Grocery, Brownies, The Black Cat, The Rainbow Room, The Copacabana, The Kennedy Center Concert Hall, The Birchmere, Blues Alley and many more. He is the author of the percussion method text The Paradiddle Workbook.
Mr. Barrick can also be heard on many television and film scores. Other recording projects have led to Washington Area Music Awards nominations for recordings with Chaise Lounge, American Song, The Joker’s Wild, Radio King Orchestra, Bossalingo; and five Wammy wins for Best Hard Rock/Punk Band, Adam West.
Gary performs with many DC ensembles, including Chaise Lounge, The Cutaways, The Tuxedo Park Orchestra and his own sextet. Perhaps the area’s leading exponent of swing clarinet, hot tenor and cool flute his playing provides local big bands with both the soaring clarinet and “down home” tenor playing reminiscent of the swing era. Gary grew up in Las Vegas and began his musical training there at an early age.
At age 12, Dallas-born Joe Jackson achieved his life dream of forfeiting his lunch money daily to the school jocks by choosing the trombone. During his high school years, Joe was the recipient of three Down Beat Magazine “DeeBee” awards. At the University of North Texas, he performed in the famed One O’Clock Lab Band, and was named the 1985 National Association of Jazz Educators College Musician of the Year.
Joe left UNT in 1990 and hit the road with the Maynard Ferguson Band, and performed for millions throughout the U.S. and Europe, all the while playing at least an octave lower than Maynard. In 1991, Joe was awarded the lead trombone position in the U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note. In 2004 he was appointed the Director of the Airmen of Note, and while serving in that capacity for seven years he created the Jazz Heritage Broadcast Series heard each year by millions worldwide on 900 media stations, and produced seven CDs, including 2010’s “Cool Yule,” which topped out on the charts at the second most-played CD in the nation.
In 2011, Joe publicly renounced his obsession with big band jazz, and transferred to the U.S. Air Force Ceremonial Brass. Meanwhile he secretly fed his addiction by freelancing with big bands up and down the east coast, including dalliances with the Woody Herman Orchestra and David Liebman Big Band. In 2012, Joe joined the nation’s premiere retro hipster Vegas lounge party band, Chaise Lounge.
Joe has contributed commissioned arrangements to dozens of ensembles across the country, and his educational arrangements are published by Alfred Music Publications.
Joe publishes his own website serving the lunch money-deprived trombone community. In his spare time, Joe works with a variety of Washington D.C. area non-profits, all of which serve roles in the education, rights and welfare of children in the U.S. and Africa.
Pete Ostle is a versatile bass player, band leader, and tubist who served with the U. S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” based at Fort Myer, Virginia. Pete played in the Concert Band, Army Blues, Army Chorus, Army Orchestra, and Army Chorale during his 20-year tenure. This included extensive performances abroad including a month at the renowned Edinburgh Tattoo. Locally, Pete formed A La Carte Brass & Percussion, an innovative 10-piece ensemble for which he was band leader and played sousaphone. He currently leads the Tuxedo Park Orchestra, a 10-piece swing band. He also plays double bass with the Avanti Orchestra of the Friday Morning Music Club, the McLean Orchestra, and the Pan American Symphony Orchestra. Pete received a degree in Arranging and Composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.