BOHP_2007-06-18 - Charlie Mariano - 4
FB: Ok after Nat Pierce and Berklee for a while you hit the road with Kenton. How did that happen? CM: Yeah I think that probably happened through Boot Vasooly, I think. I'm not sure because it was never really talked about. But I got a call and thank God for that. That same year and we're talking about 1953 I was with Chubby Jackson, Bill Harris' group. And then later on that year I came back to Boston and I was broke. So I was working at Filene's for 2 weeks as a salesman and I got a call to go with Kenton's band. So of course I did. FB: I bet. CM: And I took Lee Konitz's place. Because the Kenton band went to Europe and after they came back from Europe a lot of the guys left the band. FB: Who was in the sax section besides you? CM: Davey Scheelkraut was the other alto player, Bill Homlin was there, Zoot Sims was there for a little bit, and Frank Rosalino was still there, Countie Cadoli was still there. Some wonderful players, FB: Swingin band. CM: Yeah it was great. But I didn't have any time to really rehearse. I just jumped on the bandstand and played the charts. FB: Well you read well enough to read those charts. CM: I guess so because they didn't fire me right away (laughs). FB: You had some damn good writers. Some good writers. Homlin and Russo, Bill Russo. CM: So these were the two main writers of that band. We also had some Gerry Mulligan charts in there, Johnny Richards. FB: Jerry Richards of course. You didn't have to read those Bill Gredgener charts did you? Bob Gredgener. That space age stuff that Kenton used to.. CM: I think they had already discarded those. I never played any of that. FB: How bout Shorty Rogers? Did write a few charts for Kenton? CM: Shorty? I don't think there were anything by him. After I joined Kenton's band I moved out to Los Angeles. Because I figured it would be easier because I was in the band for like 2 years until I couldn't stand it anymore. Because you know, you say Stan Kenton everybody's thinkin about all the concert pieces and the jazz and so on like that. Well what it was mostly we were playing for dancing. So we were doing these ballrooms all over the country and it was a different book. A lot of the charts were written by Stan Kenton. FB: Pretty square. CM: Yeah not terribly interesting. FB: I just read Anita O'Day's autobiography. She thought Kenton was a nice man but she was bored by the band. CM: Yeah. I mean the band always had like some really good players, but there were also some players that weren't so great. You know normal.