Altoist Charlie Mariano plays very much in a Charlie Parker style on these early recordings from Boston (eight from 1951 and six from 1953), but his arrangements for the octet (six of the pieces from the former session) are quite original and unpredictable; only trumpeter Joe Gordon among the otherwise obscure personnel ever gained much recognition. The later six selections match Mariano with trumpeter Herb Pomeroy and the brilliant pianist Dick Twardzik in a quintet; Twardzik, with his odd mixture of Bud Powell and Lennie Tristano, consistently steals the show. A historical and generally enjoyable set, it's recommended for bop fans.
Pianist Russ Freeman, who produced this record, related it this way : “The last time we were (with Shelly Manne’s quintet) in San Francisco, we went to blow at some motel on the outskirts of town one afternoon. There were some other musicians there; we took turns playing. Jerry (Dodgion) was there. The afternoon wound up with Charlie and Jerry playing the blues with a rhythm section for about twenty minutes. It was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had, and I wasn’t even playing!
Charlie Mariano's MIRROR ranks with the best JAZZ ROCK ever recorded! I'm dead serious. If you love Zappa's GRAND WAZOO, Embryo's ROCKSESSION, Return to Forever's NO MYSTERY, or Mahavishnu Orchestra's BIRDS OF FIRE, then you WILL LOVE THIS ALBUM! I've been a fan of Mariano's sax playing, as well as his world music-jazz fusion for awhile, even tho I never looked into buying any of his solo albums. CHARLIE MARIANO started out playing with Mingus (Black Saint and the Sinner Woman). ~ W.T. Hoffman
One of the most original and innovative Krautrock bands, Embryo fused traditional ethnic music with their own jazzy space rock style. Over their 30-year existence, during which Christian Burchard has been the only consistent member, the group has traveled the world, playing with hundreds of different musicians and releasing over 20 records…