BOHP_2007-06-18 - Charlie Mariano - 3
FB: In that same vein, let's see, what about the quintet with Herb, with Twardzik, recorded for Prestige? CM: Right. FB: Was that a working band in Boston at the time? CM: No, not really. It was just some of my favorite musicians, so Ira Gitler, he approached me or called me on the phone, I don't remember now, and said 'I'd like to record you' blah blah blah, so I get these guys together, the best people I could find. FB: Did you do it in New York? CM: No, we did it in Boston. FB: Did Bob Weinstock show up? The guy who owned the label? The Prestige label? CM: I don't think so. FB: Ira just sold 'em the tapes. CM: Yeah. That was Ira Gitler. And we did it like, at the studio where also Nat Pierce and so on, like, I don't remember, there were a couple brothers... off of Boylston Street? No, this was downtown in the combat zone. FB: Oh, alright. Who else... Shorty Sharrock and Larry Clinton? CM: Oh, okay, well these were a couple big bands that I had some gigs with. FB: In Boston? CM: No, even on the road. FB: Okay, you were out with those guys. CM: Most if them, I went out... a few gigs. Where'd you get all this information? These are things I forgot all about! (laughs) FB: Tell us about, we're moving along chronologically here, there was a little scene in Lynn in the early fifties. You played the Melody Lounge... CM: The Melody Lounge...eh... Nate Finkelstein... he had this place, The Melody Lounge, it was like seven nights a week and Sunday afternoons, and I forgot all the people that were there, but for quite a long time Jackie Baird was there... FB: Terrific. CM: Wonderful. And he was living in Rosslyndale, not far from where I was living, and we used to drive out there together and drive back. FB: What was Jackie like when he was a young guy? CM: Jackie was a wonderful guy. Always very friendly and a fantastic musician. FB: And he had that crazy sense of humor. CM: Sweetie, you remember Jackie Baird, huh? You know, my wife met him, we played together many years ago in ____ FB: Oh, sure. CM: Yeah. He was just a great guy, and I've learned so much from him because he was already a wonderful player, and also not too many people realize what a great writer he was. I'm not talking about just his compositions but his arranging! This guy could write. FB: Herb kept that aluminum baby, The Ballad For John Nebbs, in his book for years with that great, rich sax section... CM: Yeah! I know... that's what I mean. FB: Was Jackie always kinda zany and have a wacky sense of humor, too? CM: Yeah! Oh yeah. FB: I remember that. Off the bandstand. CM: I think always. Sure. FB: And he had a great sense of being an entertainer. CM: Yeah. FB: Like Cab Calloway, like Dizzy Gillespie. He was always 'on', and he would make google eyes like Count Basie would and fall off the end of the keyboard like Hank Jones liked to do... CM: Sure. FB: You know, guys were into showbiz. CM: Yeah. Yeah. FB: You never forgot that entertainment aspect. CM: Yeah. Yeah, it was a great time for me. And it was around that time also, I don't remember who was all there with us, but Jimmy Zattano was a lot of times up there in Lynn, and Dick Wetmoore, played cornet and violin. FB: Sure, I remember Dick. CM: Yeah, it was a good time. FB: Yeah, he played down the Cape with Bobby Hackett much later. And he'd show up at Scotch & Sirloin and do little dance gigs with the Troudin brothers. CM: Uh huh. Oh, okay. Yeah. FB: Yeah, that was on the fringe of Ruby Braff circles, too. Did Ruby ever go up to Lynn? Ruby Braff? CM: Uh... no. FB: What was with Lynn? CM: When? FB: No, why? Why Lynn? CM: Why not? Somebody calls you and says 'I got a gig for you,' you go there. FB: But, there was a lot of shoe business in Lynn. Maybe they wanted you tapping your foot so you'd wear out your sole and buy new shoes. CM: (laughs) I don't know anything about that. FB: George Wein's family was from Lynn. CM: Oh yeah? FB: Originally, before they moved to Newton. CM: Oh, I didn't know that. FB: His father was a doctor in Lynn. Then they moved to Newton and that's when he went off to B.U. and he met Joyce and he started the club scene... CM: Oh, okay... FB: You must have worked Storyville eventually. CM: Yeah, sure. Yeah, I did. FB: I don't think we're quite ready for that yet.