Born: September 25, 1919 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
I met Carlo in 1971 while I was working for Anita at her club across the Maine in Frankfurt. Carlo was opening a new club, DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE and Teddy who was to manage it wasn't able so Carlo asked me to open it. I worked for him most of that year. He gave me an apartment next to his above the club on Mainstrasse as part of our arrangement.
The club was a beautiful place, small but intimate. I think he hoped to bring in some income and musicians. Because I was much younger at the time, mid 20's, my friends and acquaintances were primarily Blues and Folk musicians but our almost nightly jam sessions included Jazz players, classically trained musicians of all degrees of ability. Among the regulars, who played for drinks, was a local Hot Jazz band, a Czech Bluegrass band who sang phonetically! Carlo had a great time with all of these young musicians and was particularly fond of a husband wife duo who played the streets of Frankfurt and from time to time stayed with me (John and Susie, forgot the last name). He would talk music with them for hours and often skipped eating his seemingly favorite meal of boiled potatoes and sour milk to share one of Susie's meals.
Many of his old friends dropped by including Maria Callas and Gabor Zabo. The Dixieland group inspired him to see if he could still play the trumpet that was given to him by the West German government for his contribution to the Arts/music scene after WWII. The horn hung in the club and one morning he woke me trying to figure out how to get his lip back. I think too many years had passed. He was still writing at that time but I don't know if he was published. I returned to the States in December of 1971 but returned for a visit with my wife in 1981. Carlo charmed Brenda and took us by night up and down the streets and alleys of Sachsenhausen to Jazz and music clubs.
We had many one-sided discussions on origin of the blues note, American music forms and the great players and styles of the Jazz and big Band players that he had met after WWII. I believe the name of his downtown club was Storyland, named after that in New Orleans and that since Frankfurt was the most active airport after the war, the musicians coming to the Continent would land there and most often stopped at the club and I believe many played there. Carlo, in so many ways was a product of that period of the war and after. One day I noticed a small chrome pistol wrapped in a handerchief. I asked him why he carried it since everyone knew him. He then told me that during the bombing of Frankfurt he was trapped in a demolished building in the basement for days and it was a horrific experience which he had no intention of enduring again if the world ever lost it's mind again. Actually on our return visit he said that pistol saved him from a robbery. The Frankfurt he knew and whose streets he safely walked all hours of the night had changed since the the 1970's and two guys tried to stick him up. He reached in his pocket and shouted out I have a gun and I will shoot. Of course that never stopped his night life and love of music and musicians.
Source: The Reverend Steve Oreskovich