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Frank Rosolino
Born August 20, 1926
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Died November 26, 1978 Van Nuys, California, U.S.
Genres Be-bop,Hard Bop
Occupations Musician
Instruments Trombone
Jazz trombonist Frank Rosolino at the Village Jazz Lounge in Walt Disney World, July 1978 (center)

Frank Rosolino (August 20, 1926 - November 26, 1978) was an American jazz trombonist.

Biography

Born in Detroit, Michigan, in a family that included brothers Russell and Gasper, Rosolino studied the guitar with his father starting at age 9. Frank took up the trombone at age 14, and graduated from Miller High School, while playing in the Cass Tech Symphony Orchestra, a fine music program that also produced Donald Byrd. Following service in the U.S. Army's 86th Division during World War II, he played with the big bands of Bob Chester, Glen Gray, Tony Pastor, Herbie Fields, and Gene Krupa. He became famous during a stint in the most popular of Stan Kenton's progressive big bands, (1952‚Äď1954), and settled in Los Angeles, where he worked with everybody in the business: Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars (1954‚Äď1960), Terry Gibbs, Shorty Rogers, Benny Carter, Buddy Rich, Dexter Gordon, Carl Fontana, Jean "Toots" Thielemans, Stan Levey, Shelly Manne, Pete Christlieb, Bobby Knight, Conte Candoli, Med Flory, Donn Trenner, Mel Torm√©, Louis Bellson, Marty Paich, Zoot Sims, Quincy Jones, and Tutti Camarata. He attempted to maintain his popularity in the 1970s through high-profile associations with non-jazz bands, including Tower of Power and Brass Machine, but most fans remember this period in his career through his association with Med Flory's Supersax. It was also during this time that Frank went on a very successful tour in Japan with Supersax. During the late 50s he participated in various Stan Kenton road tours which also included the Four Freshman and a jocular stage-rivalry as to who was the better trombonist between the Freshmen's Bob Flanigan and Rosolino became part of the act and a delight to all involved.

Rosolino was also a talented vocalist, renowned for his wild form of scat-singing. He recorded one vocal album, Turn Me Loose!, featuring both his singing and trombone playing. During his first tour with the Gene Krupa aggregation he recorded under the name of "Frankie Ross" his soon to be bop powerhouse, Lemon Drop. He often sang novelty songs on The Tonight Show and the second Steve Allen Show, produced for Westinghouse. He was also featured singing and playing in an episode of the Allen-produced half-hour syndicated program The Jazz Scene, hosted by Oscar Brown, Jr..

Frank's third wife, and the mother of their two sons, committed suicide in February 1972 in Los Angeles, California. Shortly thereafter, Frank was heard by friends contemplating his own suicide. He shot himself after killing one of his sons Justin, 9, and critically wounding another, Jason, 7, on November 26, 1978 in Van Nuys, California. Jason survived, blinded, and was adopted by his mother's cousin, Claudia Eien, and her husband Gary. Jason is doing well and now resides in California and is a very talented musician.

Frank also had 2 daughters Parris and Felecia. Parris resides in Seattle and is involved in the reopening of Frank's case, alleging that the cause of death was murder rather than suicide. A women has allegedly confessed to her of killing her father Frank and also that she shot both sons. Parris Rosolino is in Seattle and Felecia Whihongi is in New Zealand.

The International Trombone Association established its first award for jazz trombone in Frank's memory, and he continues to be remembered as one of the greatest jazz trombone players of all time.

Discography

  • The Frank Rosolino Sextet (LP only - Affinity - AFF61), 1954
  • I Play Trombone, 1956
  • Free for All (Specialty - OJCCD - 1763 -2[SP-2161]), 1958
  • Turn Me Loose, 1961
  • Fond Memories of Frank, 1996
  • Thinking About You, 1976
  • Trombone Heaven ("Live" in Vancouver), 1978
  • Frank Talks, 1998
  • Complete Recordings of the Frank Rosolino Quartet featuring Sonny Clark, 2005
  • Last Recording, 2006
  • Let's Make It - Frank Rosolino Quintet, 2008

AS A SIDEMAN

  • Stan Kenton - New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm (Capitol Jazz CDP 7 92865 2),1952
  • Zoot SIMS & Frank ROSOLINO (Vogue VG 655622), 1953
  • Benny Carter-Jazz Giant, 1957
  • The Music of Bob Cooper - Coop! (Contemporary - OJCCD-161-2[C-7544]), 1958
  • Stan Levey - Stanley the Steamer (Affinity - CD AFF 768)
  • Tutti's Trombones (Bainbridge - BCD2049), 1970
  • Conversation (RCA TPL1-1509[LP only]), 1973
  • Horace Silver - Silver 'n Wood, 1976
  • June Christy 1977 (Storyville/ STCD 4168), 1977
  • First Flight - Don Menza with Alan Broadbent, Frank Strazzeri and others, 1977
  • Supersax

OTHER ALBUMS

  • Trombomania! (Affinity CD AFF 761)[dual set with Kai Winding/JJ Johnson],1956
  • This One's for Basie - Buddy Rich and his Orchestra (Verve -817 788-2), 1956
  • Helen Humes - 'Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness If I Do (Contemporary/OJCCD-453-2[S-7571]), 1959
  • Mel Torme - Torme(Verve 823 010-2)
  • Mel Torme Swings Shubert Alley (Verve - 821 581-2)
  • Mel Torme - The Duke Ellington and Count Basie Songbooks (Verve 823 248-2)

On DVD

  • Jazz Scene USA (Hosted by Oscar Brown, Jr.) 1962

External links








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