CHARLIE MARIANO – LAST VISITS
D 2013 – 99 Min - OmU
Eine ENGSTFELD FILM Produktion
Musikaufnahme Stadtgarten Köln
Musikaufnahme Theaterhaus Stuttgart
Ein Film von Axel Engstfeld
Kinostart: 13. Februar 2014
Als „Tears of Sound“ bezeichnete der berühmte Bassist Charlie Mingus seinen Klang. Charlie Mariano, Saxophonist, Komponist, Weltmusiker. Einer der Großen des Jazz. Im Juni 2009 starb er im Alter von 85 Jahren. Der Film begleitet ihn in seinem letzten Jahr zu seinen Konzerten. Wie kein Zweiter hat Charlie Mariano den europäischen Jazz beeinflusst und Generationen von Musikern inspiriert.
Als „Tears of Sound“ bezeichnete der berühmte Bassist Charlie Mingus seinen Klang. Charlie Mariano, Saxophonist, Weltmusiker einer der Großen des Jazz.
Charlie Mariano, in Boston geboren als Kind italienischer Einwanderer, hat mit Charlie Parker und Dizzy Gillespie in den USA gespielt. In den 70iger Jahren kommt Charlie Mariano nach Europa und bleibt. Im Gegensatz zu Amerika kann er in Deutschland seinen Lebensunterhalt als Jazzmusiker verdienen. Charlie Mariano wird zur Inspiration von Generationen junger europäischer Musiker.
Im Laufe der Jahre 2008/2009 haben wir Charlie, der seit 20 Jahren in Köln lebte, immer wieder besucht. Haben ihn zu Konzerten begleitet, haben bei ihm zu Hause gedreht, lassen andere Musiker zu Wort kommen.
Im Juni 2009 starb er im Alter von 85 Jahren. 3 Monate vor seinem Tod spielt er sein letztes großes Konzert zu seinem 85. Geburtstag in Stuttgart. Wegbegleiter aus den letzten 40 Jahren treffen sich, um noch einmal mit Charlie auf der Bühne zu stehen:
In seiner Jugend spielte Mariano in einer Bar in Boston mit einer Band weißer Musiker populäre Tanzmusik. In derselben Bar spielte eine schwarze Band Jazz und Charlie ergriff seine Chance. Er sprang ein, als der Saxophonist der Jazzband ausfiel.
INTERVIEWAUSZUG CHARLIE MARIANO
AE: So how come that you got attracted by a saxophone?
CM: I heard Lester Young when I was a teenager. That impressed me so much. Lester Young is a tenor saxophone player, and I liked the sound of that so much, that I said, oh, that is what I want to do. I think probably all along I wanted to be a musician. I thought about it, probably a lot, about music.
AE: Is it so that as a kid you can decide you want to be a musician?
CM: It is difficult for me to say. I was only a kid and you know how kids are. Sometimes they are thinking like that, but I am not sure whether I was until I was at least a teenager. And before that I did not know what I was going to do.
AE: Do you remember the day, when you got your first saxophone?
CM: My first saxophone. Ooh. No not really. I must have turned 17. My birthday is like November. So may be it was like December something like that. Later in November, December. My sister bought me my first saxophone. And my parents did not want me to be a musician. They said like it is ok to play, but get a real job (laughs), which I think most musicians hear from their parents. Being a musician is not really encouraged.
AE: So they tried to make you work?
CM: Yes, sure. My father was a cook. My mother worked sometimes as a seamstress. But mostly she was at home. I think they most probably expected me to be a teacher or something like that. Because I was not doing too badly at school. So they figured that that would probably the job for me – be a teacher.
AE: Somehow you were able to sneak away from that plan.
CM: Sure, you know how kids are. We have a certain thing in our mind of what we want to do, so I worked hard at that. I wanted to be a musician. And then when it started to work out, as I said, I started playing when I was 17 years old, already that next year, we are talking about 1941 now, 1941 I went up to Maine, one of the states north of Massachusetts. Where I am from, I had a summer gig with some school friends of mine, which went up here. The piano player was from that area, the French speaking part of Maine. So we went up there and played for dancing and that kind of thing. Of course I was not playing terribly well, I had not even been playing a year yet. But for me it was fantastic. I had a wonderful time.
AE: Was that your very first appearance in front of an audience?
CM: Well, my very first experience in front of an audience – I played for our prom, for graduation exercises, I played for that.
AE: What kind of music, did you adore to that time and what kind of music did you hate?
CM: Well, the thing is when I first started to play I did not know anything about Bebop. Bebop was already there, from I think 41 or so, difficult for me to say. But I did not know anything about it. It was not until I was in the army, that I heard a record by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. And it impressed me so much that I said that is what I want to do, I wanted to be a Bebop player. So that is how I spend my future years, trying to do the best that I could. I became a Bebop musician.
AE: Did you have any heroes at that time?
CM: Of course. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and all the good Bebop players and not only that, all the good saxophone players. Some of them were not Bebop players at all. I mean Johnny Hodges, have you ever heard of Johnny Hodges? He was probably my first big influence. As an alto saxophone player Johnny Hodges was for me and still is one of the great masters. He had such a control of the instrument that was just fantastic. How he could slide around a note and things like that very few people could do that. He had that. He could do it. And he was a great player
AE: Charlie Parker created something new at that time?
CM: Charlie Parker, sure when Charlie Parker and the Bebop thing came out it was so brand new. And all the young musicians, of course, that was what they wanted to do. Including me, of course. It was like an evolutionary step in Jazz. The Bebop area was very important for us.
AE: What was it that fascinated you?
CM: In the first place like I mentioned earlier, when I started to play, we mostly played by ear. And we did not know terribly much about cord changes and so on. Well, the bebop area came along and these people knew all about chord changes and cord progressions. And how it fits certain scales with certain chords, of course this is what I loved about it. It was new, it was brand new and a big challenge.
AE: Had it also to do with speed?
CM: Speed, well, yeah sure. Of course these people played faster then it had ever been done before. So yeah, sure.
ÜBER DIE PRODUKTIONSFIRMA ENGSTFELD FILM
Engstfeld Film ist eine führende Dokumentarfilmproduktionsfirma, mit Sitz in Köln.