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by John Kelman
When expat American woodwind multi-instrumentalist Charlie Mariano passed away in the summer of 2009 at the age of 85, his death--like much of his life--seemed sadly lost in the shuffle in North America. The expat American--who relocated to Europe in the early 1970d-- should have cemented an international reputation with his early alto work with Stan Kenton and pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi; all the more his tenure in German bassist Eberhard Weber's Colours group and Pork Pie, a fusion group with ...read more
by Fred Bouchard
Charlie Mariano with Cholet-Kanzig-Papaux Trio Silver Blue Enja2008 Julian F. Thayer / Charlie Mariano / Klaus Suonsaari The Door Is Open KSJazz2008 Charlie Mariano with Philip Catherine & Jasper van't Hof The Great Concert: Stuttgart Enja2009 On what are likely some of Charlie Mariano's final dates ...read more
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Charlie Mariano Silver Blue Enja Records 2008
There is much that is unique about the alto saxophone sound, the voice," of Charlie Mariano. The word that perhaps best describes Mariano's sound is intimate. Not intimate in the erotic sense--although the intensely romantic treatment on this album of standards such as My Funny Valentine," Theme From Black Orpheus" and My Foolish Heart" might support that meaning--but intimate in the way the listener experiences ...read more
by John Kelman
Of labels awaiting first-time release on CD, Germany's MPS is the undisputed holy grail. With plans to release fifteen of its 400+ titles in carefully remastered and beautifully designed mini-LP sleeve packages each year, Promising Music is righting a wrong in the best possible way. Always eclectic, MPS ran the gamut from free jazz to fusion and everything in-between, and Promising Music's first six titles demonstrate the full breadth of this historically significant label.Lacking sufficient international distribution, MPS' ...read more
by John Kelman
Octogenarian saxophonist Charlie Mariano has spent a lifetime blurring boundaries. One of the few remaining witnesses of the bebop era, he has spent the early part of his career in that arena. In the mid-'60s he began experimenting with fusion, recording arguably his best work in that genre with bassist Eberhard Weber's groundbreaking Colours band in the '70s. Throughout he has had a passion for music of other cultures, spending time in India learning the nadhaswaram, a South Indian wind ...read more
by Jim Santella
Charlie Mariano’s album of straight-ahead, romantic ballads couldn’t have come at a better time. His quartet delivers a timeless message that serves as medicine for whatever ails ya.
The saxophonist has chosen eight songs deserving wider recognition in this day and age. He’s added one original, “Dew Drops,” in which the traditional spirit of Japan’s ancestors ambles ceremoniously into the room. Its effect on the listener crosses all cultural boundaries. No matter their ancestry, ceremonial priests garner the ...read more
by AAJ Staff
A long and winding road led Charlie Mariano to this inspired record of romantic ballads. For the last 50 years he has traveled through swing, big band, bop, fusion, and more adventurous material; he lived and worked in the US, Japan, Europe, India, and Malaysia; and, not surprisingly, he has amassed a list of collaborators a mile long. No need to provide that list here. Mariano is his own man by now.
All that exploration leads him to ...read more