Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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MARIANO, Charlie

(b Carmine Ugo Mariano, 12 November 1923, Boston MA; d 16 June 2009) Saxes, flute, nadaswaram (a South Indian double-reed instrument), also teacher. Began on sax at 17, played in US Army, attended Berklee, played and recorded around Boston (see Nat Pierce), worked with Stan Kenton '53-5; to Los Angeles, working with Frank Rosolino, Shelly Manne, others. LPs '51-7 on Imperial, Prestige, Fantasy, Bethlehem, World Pacific with Herb Pomeroy, Jaki Byard, Rosolino, Manne, others. Mariano was married to Toshiko Akiyoshi; there were quartet LPs with her on Candid '60 and in Tokyo '63. He played on Charles Mingus LPs on Impulse '63, taught at Berklee c.1965-71, worked with Radio Malaysia orchestra for several months, discovering the nadaswaram; lived mostly in Europe from '71, making trips to India to study music.

He was obviously influenced by Charlie Parker but always open to new ideas, preferring Europe because experimentation there was less subject to commercial pressures. He was a member of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble (on six LPs), Eberhard Weber's Colours (several LPs on ECM). Other LPs included three with Japanese musicians in Tokyo '67-8, including reedman Sadao Watanabe (b 1 February 1933; LPs on Inner City, Columbia; Parker's Mood on Elektra and Good Time For Love on WEA, both '86; in '90s on Denon); octet Cascade and Solos And Duos with Philip Catherine on Keytone '74; Reflektions '74 on Finnish RCA with Finnish musicians (and Sabú Martinez); The Door Is Open '75 by a group called Pork Pie with Catherine, Jaspar van't Hof, others, and Helen Twelvetrees '76 with Jack Bruce, Jan Hammer, others, both on MPS; sextet October on CMP/Inner City; Crystal Bells '79 on CMP, Tea For Four '80 on Finnish Leo, Some Kind Of Changes '82 on German Calig, Jyothi '83 on ECM with the Karnataka College of Percussion, The Charlie Mariano Group '85 on Mood. CDs include two vols of It's Standard Time with Tete Montoliu and Portrait Of Charlie Mariano on Fresh Sound, celebration Mariano & Friends: 70 '93 on Intuition with guests including van't Hof, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Aldo Romano, J. F. Jenny-Clark, many more. He also played on albums by Eberhard Weber, Runo Ericksson, Rolf Kühn and others, soundtrack of film Kaltgestellt c.1980.