BOHP_2007-06-18 - Charlie Mariano - 7
FB: A lot of people didn't know how to work a pulse to the music either. CM: Yeah. FB: To get a dynamic flow where your pulse races and then it cuts back a little. It's like living and breathing. CM: Mingus did that. He probably was the first guy that I ever played with who would speed up and slow down, and so on. I mean, it was fantastic. FB: This is truly organic music. It's green. It's vibrant. Around that same time you did a session with McCoy Tyner. How did that come about? CM: I think I was still living in Japan at the time, so that would've been 1964, I think. FB: '63 or '64, yeah. CM: And it was just a spur of the moment. I was there in Newport, I think playing with Stan Kenton's band as a soloist. Bob Thiele had Clark Terry and me sit in with McCoy Tyner's group -- trio. Bob Cranshaw and Mickey Roker. FB: Oh, nice. So that was for Thiele. Okay. CM: Yeah, I think so. Because that was still for... FB: Impulse. CM: Yeah, Impulse. That was still for Impulse. And also, I think before that I did that album with... FB: Elvin Jones. CM: With Elvin Jones. You know that? FB: I don't. No, I don't know that one. CM: Oh, okay. FB: Yeah, that's a good one, too, eh? CM: That was nice. That was a lot of fun. FB: I'll dig it up. I saw it in the discography. I don't have that big collection that Steve Schwarz does, you know. I got a lot of holes in my background. CM: It doesn't matter. FB: But you like that one? CM: That was great. FB: Oh, Elvin is so splendid. CM: For me that was a highlight. Sure. FB: Oh, let's go back. Let's go back to Berklee... CM: Yeah. FB: And talk about what Ray reminded me about last night and that was the incepetion of the jazz workshops... CM: Oh, okay. FB: Which was a real, living educational scene. CM: Okay, well that had to have been '52 or '53. I know '53 it was on, but I don't remember when we started it. It was my idea to get some of the best musicians in Boston involved in a little school. So we named it the jazz workshop. Herb was there, Ray Santisi was there, Jimmy Woody, Jackie Baird I think, there were a whole bunch of people involved. Really good people. I can't remember now everybody. But we rented a building in that same area where the jazz workshop was... later. FB: It was like an empty factory building and you rented pianos and stuffed them in the rooms. CM: Exactly. We moved a whole bunch of things in there. We tried to set up a little school. Because none of us were at Berklee at that time. And so we started an alternative jazz school with the people that I like that I thought could make a difference. FB: So at this point you had already studied with Joe Viola and you learned a lot from him but you wanted to apply it in a more practical setting than Berklee, than Schillinger House was offering. So you were able to find students who would come down for lessons? CM: Yeah, but of course it was not terribly successful. We tried it for a bunch of months, and out of that, Vardi Harotoni organized this jazz workshop gig which was... I forgot it was in some bar. FB: The Stable. CM: Yeah the Stable. That grew out of that. It was mostly the same people involved. I was there for a little bit but not much first of all I went on the road and then went with Kenton so I was not there. FB: But Ray said Larry Berk came over at one point and said, "Oh, this is good. Why don't you bring it over to Berklee?" And so he made an offer collectively that you couldn't refuse and you said, "Okay, let's move it over to Berklee." That took care of the rental situation. So you took the practical gigging hands on scene and took it over to Berklee. CM: I was not involved with that. I was already gone. FB: Something like the Berklee labs and... the session rooms now.. CM: Probably. FB: Okay. I'm just wondering whether you personally thought that Boston made any unique contributions to the East Coast scene. CM: No, I don't think so. No, I didn't. It was just a whole... I say east coast but we're talking about cities like Chicago and Detroit, too. The West Coast jazz thing was like isolated. FB: Okay. San Francisco and L.A. CM: And it wasn't even really like typical of the West Coast, actually, because a lot of the musicians associated with that style the west coast style came from the east. FB: As you pointed out that's true. And a lot of the things that kept it afloat was the network of the small clubs that were played by Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker and those guys in the fifties, the Haig and places like that. The musicians who played there, some of them, were supported by the studios. They had their day gig for good money and they would jam at night to let their hair down. CM: Yeah I know a lot of those guys were heavy into the studio scene, sure. Yeah. FB: I mean there's always been a buck to be made in Hollywood as long as you're in the right circles. CM: Yeah, yeah. FB: Charlie, maybe you would just briefly recap your observation about the reasons why you moved from California back to the heart of the jazz scene in the east. CM: Well, I mean, I wouldn't say the heart of the jazz scene. But, we're talking about how I felt about the difference between the West Coast Jazz and the East coast jazz. And when I say east coast jazz I'm talking about all these cities like Chicago and Detroit that are not really on the east coast. We're talking about a particular style of music. The west coast thing was very unique to that period and probably some specific musicians that were involved in that. So they called it West Coast jazz. Like Shorty Rogers was one of the main people in that movement. I think that the difference was that East Coast music was more heavily influenced by black music. So we were looking up to people like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie -- people like that. On the west, there were black musicians on the west, but they were not part of what was called the 'West Coast jazz scene'. FB: Fair enough. Okay.