Charlie Mariano Releases Album of Rarely Recorded Standards


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Charlie Mariano best known through his world fusion ensembles that are engagingly East Indian, is first and foremost a balladeer as exemplified on his latest album Deep In A Dream, a program of rarely performed standards selected and arranged by the saxophonist and pianist Bob Degen. Eight of the 10 tracks are tunes penned by some of the leading songsmiths of Hollywood and musical theatre, and, while ideally suited to jazz interpretations, are relatively under-recorded. Some of them go back to the 1930s such as Rodgers and Hart's “Spring Is Here," Ray Noble's “The Touch Of Your Lips" and Jimmy Van Heusen's “Deep In A Dream." Recorded in November, 2001 Deep In A Dream features altoist Mariano, pianist Degen, bassist Isla Eckinger, and drummer Jarrod Cagwin.

The CD also includes “Dew Drops," a Mariano composition inspired by his experiences living and working in Japan and subtly infused with oriental flavor. It softly forces the horn player to take unexpected steps and choose routes seldom traveled. For a long time, Mariano has not played choruses more adventurous and innovative.

The album Deep In A Dream has a decidedly dreamy and romantic mood to it that brings Mariano's trademark tone to the forth. His alto sax sounds plaintive at times yet has that edge that helps distinguish him from other virtuoso alto modernists like Charlie Parker, Lee Konitz or Cannonball Adderley. Mariano's solos on the slow, slow ballads “I'm A Fool To Want You," “The Touch Of Your Lips" and “Close Enough For Love" are infused with the blues, a style he clearly never abandoned despite his forays into the worlds of Indian and Asian music. Rather, his return to the realm of standards inspired an exceptional session that ranks among the finest recordings in an already distinguished discography.

“Well, I guess you could say this is a perfect example of the right suggestion being made at the right time," Mariano explained to liner note writer Mitchell Feldman in a phone conversation from his home in Cologne, Germany. “Matthias [Winckelmann, ENJA

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