Frank Rosolino

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Frank Rosolino
Frank Rosolino, Jazz Trombonist
Background information
Born (1926-08-20)August 20, 1926
Detroit, Michigan, US
Died November 26, 1978(1978-11-26) (aged 52)
Van Nuys, California, US
Genres Bebop, Hard Bop
Occupation(s) Musician, Trombonist
Instruments Trombone

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


Born in Detroit, Michigan, Frank Rosolino studied the guitar with his father from the age of 9. He took up the trombone at age 14 while he was enrolled at Miller High School where he played with Milt Jackson in the school's stage band and small group. Having never graduated, Rosolino joined the 86th Division Army Band during World War II.

Perhaps most influential of all was the street education Rosolino received after returning to Detroit following his period in the Army during which he sat in at the Mirror Ballroom or the Bluebird where other to-be-renowned musicians also congregated, the Jones brothers (Hank, Thad, and Elvin), Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Burrell, Paul Chambers and later at the 3 Deuces on 52nd Street in New York City with Charlie Parker. During these years Rosolino was also performing with the big bands of Bob Chester, Glen Gray, Tony Pastor, Herbie Fields, and perhaps most notably Gene Krupa and Stan Kenton. After a period with Kenton he settled in Los Angeles where he performed with Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars (1954–1960) in Hermosa Beach.[1] Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, between nightclub engagements, Rosolino was active in many Los Angeles recording studios where he performed with such notables as Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé, Michel Legrand, and Quincy Jones among others. He can also be seen performing with Shelly Manne's group in the film I Want to Live! (1958) starring Susan Hayward, and also in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. He was also a regular on The Steve Allen Show and a guest artist on The Tonight Show and The Merv Griffin Show. 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. He can also be seen performing in the half-hour syndicated program Jazz Scene USA, hosted by Oscar Brown, Jr.

It was during the 1970s that Rosolino performed and toured with Quincy Jones and the Grammy Award winning group Supersax.

Rosolino committed suicide after shooting his two sons in 1978.[2]


As Leader[edit]

  • The Frank Rosolino Sextet (LP only – Affinity – AFF61), 1954
  • I Play Trombone, 1956
  • Free for All (Specialty SP-2161, OJCCD 1763-2), 1958
  • Turn Me Loose, 1961
  • Fond Memories of Frank, 1996 Double-Time Records
  • Thinking About You, 1976
  • Conversations, 1973 (CD re-issue 2009)
  • 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[edit]

With Georgie Auld

With Chet Baker

With Benny Carter

With Buddy Collette

With Bob Cooper

With Paulinho Da Costa

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Barney Kessel

With Moacir Santos

With Lalo Schifrin

With Horace Silver

Other albums
  • Stan Kenton New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm (Capitol Jazz CDP 7 92865 2),1952
  • Zoot SIMS & Frank ROSOLINO (Vogue VG 655622), 1953
  • Stan Levey Stanley the Steamer (Bethlehem BCP 1017, Affinity CD AFF 768) 1954–55
  • Stan Levey This Time The Drums On Me (LP) Bethlehem Records BCP-37 US 1955
  • Howard Roberts Quartet Something's Cookin' (Capitol/EMI ST 2241), 1965
  • Tutti's Trombones (Bainbridge – BCD2049), 1970
  • June Christy 1977 (Storyville/ STCD 4168) 1977
  • First Flight Don Menza with Alan Broadbent, Frank Strazzeri and others, 1977
  • Supersax
  • Conversation (RCA TPL1-1509[LP only]), 1973
  • Trombomania! (Affinity CD AFF 761)[dual set with Kai Winding/JJ Johnson], 1956
  • Buddy Rich This One's for Basie (Norgran MGN-1086/Verve 817 788-2) 1956
  • Helen Humes 'Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness If I Do (Contemporary S-7571/OJCCD-453-2) 1959
  • Mel Tormé Torme (Verve 823 010-2)
  • Mel Tormé Swings Shubert Alley (Verve – 821 581-2)
  • Mel Tormé The Duke Ellington and Count Basie Songbooks (Verve 823 248-2)
  • Jazz Scene USA (Hosted by Oscar Brown, Jr.) 1962
  • "I love Cheez-Its" produced in 1965


  1. ^ "Frank Rosolino: Biography" AllMusic.
  2. ^ Feather, Leonard (2006). Liner notes to Free for All (CD, Specialty, 1991).

External links[edit]