Monthly Archives: January 2015

Anita Ekberg

Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg (29 September 1931 – 11 January 2015) was a Swedish actress, model, and sex symbol. She is best known for her role as Sylvia in the Federico Fellini film La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life, 1960), which features a scene of her cavorting in Rome’s Trevi Fountain alongside Marcello Mastroianni.

EARLY LIFE

Ekberg was born on 29 September 1931, in Malmö, Skåne, the eldest girl and the sixth of eight children. In her teens, she worked as a fashion model. In 1950, Ekberg entered the Miss Malmö competition at her mother’s urging, leading to the Miss Sweden contest that she won. She consequently went to the United States to compete for the Miss Universe 1951 title (an unofficial pageant at that time, the pageant became official in 1952) despite speaking little English.

Though she did not win Miss Universe, as one of six finalists she did earn a starlet’s contract with Universal Studios, as was the rule at the time. In America, Ekberg met Howard Hughes, who at the time was producing films and wanted her to change her nose, teeth and name (Hughes said “Ekberg” was too difficult to pronounce). She refused to change her name, saying that if she became famous people would learn to pronounce it, and if she did not become famous it would not matter.

As a starlet at Universal, Ekberg received lessons in drama, elocution, dancing, horse riding and fencing. She appeared briefly in the 1953 Universal films, Abbott and Costello Go to Mars and The Golden Blade. Ekberg skipped many of her drama lessons, restricting herself to horse riding in the Hollywood Hills. She later admitted she was spoiled by the studio system and played instead of pursuing bigger film roles.

MAINSTREAM CAREER

The combination of a colorful private life and a striking physique gave her appeal to gossip magazines such as Confidential and to the new type of men’s magazine that proliferated in the 1950s. She soon became a major 1950s pin-up. In addition, Ekberg participated in publicity stunts. Famously, she admitted that an incident where her dress burst open in the lobby of London’s Berkeley Hotel was prearranged with a photographer.

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By the mid-1950s, after several modelling jobs, Ekberg finally broke into the film industry. She guest-starred in the short-lived TV series Casablanca (1955) and Private Secretary. She had a small part in the film Blood Alley (1955) starring John Wayne and Lauren Bacall. She appeared alongside the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy act in Artists and Models (1955) and Hollywood or Bust (1956) both for Paramount Pictures. For a while she was publicized as “Paramount’s Marilyn Monroe.”

Paramount cast her in War and Peace (1956) that was shot in Rome, alongside Mel Ferrer and Audrey Hepburn. Meanwhile, RKO gave the actress her first leading role in Back from Eternity (also 1956). Ekberg featured in five films released during 1956, the last two being Man in the Vault and Zarak. These other productions were minor and had a limited impact on her career. In 1957, she starred in the British drama Interpol with Victor Mature, and Valerie, also in 1957 with Sterling Hayden.

In 1958, she appeared in two high-profile movies, where she co-starred with Bob Hope in Paris Holiday and starred with Philip Carey and Gypsy Rose Lee in Screaming Mimi. A European film, Sheba and the Gladiator (1959), followed.

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Federico Fellini gave Ekberg her greatest role in La Dolce Vita (1960), in which she played the unattainable “dream woman” of the character played by Marcello Mastroianni. The film has been released in English, French, German and Italian. After this, she accepted a fairly good role in The Dam of the Yellow River in 1960.

She then appeared in Boccaccio ’70 (1962), a film that also featured Sophia Loren and Romy Schneider. Soon thereafter, Ekberg was being considered to play the first Bond girl, Honey Ryder in Dr. No, but the role went to an unknown Ursula Andress. In 1963, Ekberg would go on to costar with Andress, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin in the western-comedy, 4 for Texas. Fellini would call her back for two more films: I clowns (1972), and Intervista (1987), where she played herself in a reunion scene with Mastroianni.

PERSONAL LIFE

Both Ekberg’s marriages were to actors. She was married to Anthony Steel from 1956 to 1959, and to Rik Van Nutter from 1963 until their divorce in 1975. In an interview, she said she wished she’D had a child, but stated the opposite on another occasion.

Ekberg was often outspoken in interviews, naming famous people she couldn’t bear. And she was frequently quoted as saying it was Fellini who owed his success to her, not the other way around. “They would like to keep up the story that Fellini made me famous, Fellini discovered me,” she said in a 1999 interview with The New York Times.

Ekberg did not live in Sweden after the early 1950s and rarely visited the country. However, she welcomed Swedish journalists into her house outside Rome, and in 2005 appeared in the popular radio program Sommar (“Summer”), where she talked about her life. She stated in an interview that she would not move back to Sweden before her death since she would be buried there. Ekberg said the Swedish people and media had not appreciated her sufficiently. Nevertheless, her personal and radio appearances were popular in Sweden.

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On 19 July 2009, she was admitted to the San Giovanni Hospital in Rome after falling ill in her home in Genzano according to a medical official in its neurosurgery department. She had been living in Italy for many years. Despite her condition not being serious, Ekberg was put under observation in the facility.[

In December 2011, it was reported that the 80-year-old Ekberg was “destitute” following three months in a hospital with a broken thigh in Rimini, during which her home was robbed and badly damaged in a fire. Ekberg applied for help from the Fellini Foundation, itself in difficult financial straits.

Ekberg died on 11 January 2015 at the age of 83 at the clinic San Raffaele in Rocca di Papa, in Castelli Romani, Italy. Her death was caused by complications from a longtime illness.

Frank Rosolino – Jazz Trombonist

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

FrankRosolino

Biography

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.

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.

Frank Rosolino died tragically at his own hands November 26, 1978 in Miami at Chubby Jackson’s Swiss Chalet Jazz Club, following the shooting of his two sons.

Below are tunes copied from youtube.com, some with commentary, starting with one of my favorites:

http://youtu.be/pvudYgjh7So Frank Rosolino trombone solo “I Just Don’t Want to Run Around Anymore” 1973 (Conversation – studio album) by Frank Rosolino, Conte Candolin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA3UXTwuOqY Trombones Unlimited Medley #3 Jamaica Farewell and A Night in Israel Frank Rosolino and Mike Barone 1968

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/trombonesultd Album Notes This CD contains two original albums, Holiday For Trombones and One Of Those Songs, recorded in1967-68 by a studio recording group called Trombones Unlimited. “That is, we were hired to go into a studio and read this music and record it live. There were some vocal and flute overdubs later, but everything we did was live. ‘We’ at this time were Frank Rosolino and Mike Barone on trombones, and Bobby Knight on bass trombone. We never had a recording contract––we just played for scale and went home.” (anon)

http://youtu.be/jqAcUE7WoOE Frank Rosolino Quartet – Live TV 1962 Created by television pioneer and life-long jazz devotee Steve Allen, Jazz Scene USA was a nationally syndicated television program in the beginning of the 60s; an attempt to intelligently feature jazz on television, it only lasted a year as one would expect. All appearances are featured in a relaxed, casual atmosphere created by hipster host, singer Oscar Brown Jr. Uncompromising in its use of imaginative camera angles; the visual style is on a par with the music. A time capsule to cherish from America’s golden days of televised jazz. This episode features trombone god, Frank Rosolino, who puts the studio on fire with his jaw-dropping technique and unparalleled showmanship. Frank Rosolino, trombone, Mike Melvoin, piano, Bob Bertaux, bass, Nick Martinis, drums. This was taken from an episode of Jazz Scene USA that was hosted by Oscar Brown, Jr. and produced by Meadowlane Productions that belonged to Steve Allen. At the time of this recording, Frank was in Don Trenner’s band that appeared on The Steve Allen Show that ran from July 1962 to October 1964. Frank was an amazing talent; he not only did some great solo work on Steve’s show, but he also was let loose in many comedy skits. Thank you for the posting. Many memories have been rekindled.

http://youtu.be/KvYHKmqsC20 A Rare Frank Rosolino trombone track Quiet Nights from the In Denmark LP recorded 30 Aug 1978 .This was the track that was omitted from the cd release, probably because of the 14 minutes length, but it’s well worth a listen and a cool ending too Thomas Clausen piano, Bo Stief Bass, Jarne Rostvold Drums

http://youtu.be/NUO6Sk71pcY Gene Krupa, Frank Rosolini – Pennies From Heaven

http://youtu.be/iS4BnISISso Frank Rosolino, Carl Fontana, Bill Watrous.mp4 – I believe it is a song based on “Rhythm Changes” Ms. Tilton.

http://youtu.be/94qVX-0KrVM Carl Fontana & Frank Rosolino – Masters of the Trombone

http://youtu.be/3JfZ2YP0Bvg?list=PLBB6CC5CEC677BC2F Frank Rosolino – Lemon Drop with the Herbie Fields Septet. “Live at the Flame Club,” St. Paul, (1949) Scat done with humor and technique

http://youtu.be/QiRUcDYMg3Q?list Frank Rosolino – Lemon Drop (1978) Frank Rosolino performs “Lemon Drop” with the Bubba Kolb Trio at the Village Jazz Lounge in 1978. Bubba Kolb – piano

http://youtu.be/Clbgf3Oglqs Frank Rosolino – Autumn Leaves Frank really getting down! Rosolino is backed here by Louis Van Dyke on piano, Jacques Schols on bass and John Engels on drums

http://youtu.be/p_KXWbU1ztM Frank Rosolino playing his version of Stardust from 1958 Free for All album

http://youtu.be/lHBkwphyvKo Satin Doll (1968) with Frank Rosolino and Carl Fontana – Satin Doll performed on “Jazz For A Sunday Afternoon” (1968) solo order: Sweets Edison, Pete Christlieb, Frank Rosolino, Bobby Bryant, Carl Fontana and Chuck Berghofer.

http://youtu.be/6hcxyn8rKV4 Frank Rosolino playing a very nice ”Live” version of Nicas Dream with the Peter Herbolzheimer 1977 Gala Big Band

http://youtu.be/30Qv9kQYPI0 Frank Rosolino Lover Man

http://youtu.be/y3EMxwINgew I Should Care – Frank Rosolino (trombone) Ed Bickert (guitar) Don Thompson (bass) Terry Clarke (drums)

http://youtu.be/2ce40_xgr-U Frank Rosolino – Misty with the Bubba Kolb Trio at the Village Jazz Lounge (1978) Bubba Kolb – piano

http://youtu.be/YpbwADMg4Wc Frank Rosolino – Girl From Ipanema (1978) with the Bubba Kolb Trio at the Village Jazz Lounge

http://youtu.be/_qzE-vAhTCc Rosolino and Fontana – Wave (1978 Vancouver concert)

http://youtu.be/udJmxtwOMmI Frank Rosolino trombone feature Ballad for Heather from 1976 Harvey Mason LP Marching in the Streets (with Herbie Mann and Dave Grusin, and whoever is playing bass clarinet, perhaps Marcus Miller or Bob Mintzer.

http://youtu.be/62Musunp_70 June Christy Frank Rosolino trombone solo I’ll Remember April, 1977 with the Lou Levy Sextet (re-mastered in 2006)

http://youtu.be/ayo3-i1k93Y Frank Rosolino Trombone & Don Menza Tenor Sax Groove Blues 1977 Bass – Tom Azarello Drums – Nick Ceroli Piano – Alan Broadbent Producer, Tenor Saxophone – Don Menza, Trombone – Frank Rosolino

http://youtu.be/AUWAOfcPxz8 Frank Rosolino Trombone Blues for Alice with Supersax 1978

http://youtu.be/VCUszIaDyGA Frank Rosolino – Confirmation on Bob Cooper’s 1958 release “Coop!”

http://youtu.be/6g-4fbgpz-M Frank Rosolino – Love for Sale from Free For All (1958), a West Coast jazz classic: Frank Rosolino – trombone; Harold Land – tenor sax; Victor Feldman – piano; Leroy Vinnegar – bass; Stan Levey – drums

http://youtu.be/Ee27W4Zdxyg Frank Rosolino – 1926 – 1978: In Memoriam (Frank Rosolino performing “Violets” with The Metropole Orchestra; “Violets” by Louis Van Dyke, Jaques Schols, John Engels