Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Listening to Prestige Records Part 58: Charlie Mariano Boston All-Stars
This, one of his earliest recording sessions, featured Boston musicians. some of who would also go on to larger stages. Trumpeter Joe Gordon played with Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver and others, before dying young in a house fire in 1963. Perhaps his most famous date was one that remained undiscovered until 1996 -- a radio broadcast from Boston, featuring Charlie Parker and a group either brought with him or picked up in Boston: Gordon, Dick Twardzik, Charles Mingus and Roy Haynes,
Dick Twardzik's radio gig with Charlie Parker led a discovery that the two of them shared a passion for Bartok, and to an intense and legendary collaboration with Bird -- legendary because almost none of it was ever recorded. Twardzik unfortunately had, as mentors, two of the leading heroin addicts of that time. On a European tour with Chet Baker, he died of an overdose in 1955.
Sonny Truitt is mostly known as a Boston musician, but he did some impressive work with Miles Davis, among others,
Maybe not Twardzik. Another website devoted specifically to Charlie Mariano only lists Frazee on piano (and gives the drummer's name as Gene Glennon, which a little more research confirms as correct), but the onine Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians unequivocally states that Twardzik played on the date.
The original compositions are strong, particularly "Boston Uncommon," though it's "The Wizard"
One single off the album, released on both Prestige and New Jazz. A ten-inch LP covered the whole session, and then nothing till a much later reissue on Original Jazz Classics.