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Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there a place for just plain beautiful instrumental jazz today?

Check out Charlie Mariano on DEEP IN A DREAM, on Enja records.

http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Dream-Ch...=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1244575969&sr=1-3

Don't get me wrong; I appreciate post modernists as much as the next guy. But I also think there's room for lovingly rendered standards.

Charlie Mariano jazz pioneer, experimenter, and sojourner to such far off places as South East Asia and India is my hero in jazz. He's done it all-and deserves the kudos from everyone. He is the alto saxophonist of the modern world, and he's held that domain for decades!

When Matthias Winkelmann, producer and co-founder of the German label Enja, approached Mariano with the idea of doing an album of standards in a traditional piano-bass-drums-alto setting, he was ready for it. Mariano's romance and depth on standards is in the same league as Miles, Trane and Bill Evans. He's that deep- and the best.

In a way, it's like coming home in a former life-of playing standards. Linked up with an exceptional rhythm section and some under recorded standards, the results are totally enjoyable, and revolutionary.

Mariano is in excellent form, walking a fine line between getting genuine sentiment out of these romantic ballads. His tone is bright, very soulful and has a remarkable range of expression.

His band mates, Bob Degen on piano, Isla Eckinger on bass, and Jarrod Cagwin on drums, a marvelously fluid unit, with the exact right backing for Charlie Mariano. This CD is as important as anything in jazz,it's that vital and great.

Mariano has the most advanced sound, on the alto.
His soulful cry in the palm keys and " note choice" is beyond words. Charlie is also one of the most musical soprano players ever.

Never once was there ( afaik) a feature article on Charlie in DownBeat. I did a cover story in Sax Journal over 20 years ago, which was the start of my writing about music. Joe Viola got me into it, because he knew Charlie and I were very tight. The article was beautiful and my homage to a hero of mine, and a guy who is my friend sinse 1969 ! Not a day goes by that I do not think of the sympatico-and the kindness he showed me. Don't get me wrong though, he kicked my butt as a teacher and made me work hard. Very hard.

Cannonball even said in the press that he never got tired of hearing Charlie Mariano and how much he dug him.

I'm grateful that I am aware of these things.
Nobody has the soul, passion and beauty Charlie does.The sax lines are melodic and evoke genius while carrying a powerful swing at the same time. Upbeat, charming and technically provocative always!

More people need to hear him...HE WAS TO THE ALTO WHAT TRANE WAS TO THE TENOR. HEAR HIM.

All in all, a very creditable set, in my opinion som eof the best playing in this idiom of the decade. By a master innovator- Charlie Mariano.

That's about that for now.

Grateful for each note, moment, breath, encounter, experience, and revelation.
 

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Yep. As I mentioned on FB, this is one of my favourite recordings - bar none.

When I was in Japan in the mid 60s, I worked with a guy from Berklee who turned me on to Charlie and listened to what was available from my friend. In sort of an artistic and lifetime arc, I was blessed with listening to him many times in Germany on the other end of his musical lifetime. This recording sort of contains all of it.

One of the things about his ballad playing that blew me away was how he would suddenly, take a turn to a totally unexpected (to me anyway) place. Kind of like the sort of bomb Sonny will suddenly drop that just knocks you right out of your seat and on to the floor. Mariano is just an exquisite player and this recording is sublime.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep. As I mentioned on FB, this is one of my favourite recordings - bar none.

When I was in Japan in the mid 60s, I worked with a guy from Berklee who turned me on to Charlie and listened to what was available from my friend. In sort of an artistic and lifetime arc, I was blessed with listening to him many times in Germany on the other end of his musical lifetime. This recording sort of contains all of it.

One of the things about his ballad playing that blew me away was how he would suddenly, take a turn to a totally unexpected (to me anyway) place. Kind of like the sort of bomb Sonny will suddenly drop that just knocks you right out of your seat and on to the floor. Mariano is just an exquisite player and this recording is sublime.
COOL STORY G...And very inspiring too. Thank you.
 

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Thanks Tim, what a fantastic record... Charlie Mariano has long been one of my favourite alto players (since I heard the Black Saint and the Sinner Lady), and there aren't a lot records of him in a straight ahead quartet setting, so this is a wonderful discovery for me.
 

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Tim - thank you very much for the recommendation, got to track this one down.

Mariano seems to be one of those players that gets a lot of respect from those who know, but generally underappreciated. I know he's under-represented in my collection, I have some Mingus stuff he was on (Celia) but I think that was about it.

Looking forward to checking this out!

Shawn
 

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Tim - this YT segment you talking about Charlie a couple years back was terrific...

 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tim - this YT segment you talking about Charlie a couple years back was terrific...

Fsax....Yes...Mariano touched me deeply. More so as a sonic thing. He HAD the art form down. The harmony, the notes, II-V's and was way past Bird and the carbon copy thing. It was great to be around a cat that had arrived at a destination. Hence lately as I see folks reach lamely for handles such as " Brecker" or sounds like " Brecker Like" or guys who are straining their souls to play like Chris Potter when they could let themselves loos ea bit more and relax to find a meeting place for knowledge and soul like Charlie did. BUT- You'd have to trust yourself, and their is the real artist!!! That is the peer NOT just a clone.

Mariano to me was as heavy as anyone and his place was right the with the giants. Any sax player worth their salt should be MORE than aware of his greatness. Not just to say of yea I know OF, but to be involved with IN the music, that is key.
 

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Tim, bought this great one on your recommendation.... fantastic. What is that old alto sitting in the case on the inside cover of the cd/album? It's not that Selmer he's posing with on the front.....
 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
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Tim, bought this great one on your recommendation.... fantastic. What is that old alto sitting in the case on the inside cover of the cd/album? It's not that Selmer he's posing with on the front.....
kelp- I think that's a cover shot- NOT Charlies sax at all. At that point he was using Keilwerth....and sounding...like Charlie.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist and Saxophonistic Art
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's interesting Tim, I've never seen or heard of him ever using anything except a Mark VI.
Mike, I know. Mostly he used that MK6...I know that he had a Keilwerth because when I was endorsing straight alto for them- Charlie asked me about the tone holes and all that. Then, matter of fact- there was pictures of that session, and some with Bob Belden/Tim Hagens where he had the Keil. Charlie never really used a lot of saxes. Tho'...he had a few sopranos- curves, and Selmers so he was kinda quiet about stuff. He spoke about things but just went about his mind set.

Ya know, Charlie Mariano fell in love with swing before there was bop, and attained that ability to play both inside and outside....he never looked back. This CD has that love of melody that took him through life too. To play what he did in Indian music you had to be melodic. I sure miss the guy. ( Banacos too! )

~When I was a student at Berklee- he had a extra alto Yamaha gave him in 1969 or so maybe 70. I tried it- It was the free-ist blowing alto I EVER blew. I didn't know what to say. We both just laughed.I'd look at the horn, and shake my head- I couldn't tell man!! It felt good but it also was also interesting, then he'd try it. Then we'd look at each other and crack up laughing. It was like a freak. Was it THAT good or was it a prototype or what? BUT- He had then a killin' Yamaha flute- amazing!! WOW.

I found a cool pic, I'll share below~ Charlie was a deep guy. And a wonderful human being.
 

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