Frank Rosolino – Jazz Trombonist

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.

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, some with commentary, starting with one of my favorites: Frank Rosolino trombone solo “I Just Don’t Want to Run Around Anymore” 1973 (Conversation – studio album) by Frank Rosolino, Conte Candolin Trombones Unlimited Medley #3 Jamaica Farewell and A Night in Israel Frank Rosolino and Mike Barone 1968 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) 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. 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 Gene Krupa, Frank Rosolini – Pennies From Heaven Frank Rosolino, Carl Fontana, Bill Watrous.mp4 – I believe it is a song based on “Rhythm Changes” Ms. Tilton. Carl Fontana & Frank Rosolino – Masters of the Trombone Frank Rosolino – Lemon Drop with the Herbie Fields Septet. “Live at the Flame Club,” St. Paul, (1949) Scat done with humor and technique 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 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 Frank Rosolino playing his version of Stardust from 1958 Free for All album 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. Frank Rosolino playing a very nice ”Live” version of Nicas Dream with the Peter Herbolzheimer 1977 Gala Big Band Frank Rosolino Lover Man I Should Care – Frank Rosolino (trombone) Ed Bickert (guitar) Don Thompson (bass) Terry Clarke (drums) Frank Rosolino – Misty with the Bubba Kolb Trio at the Village Jazz Lounge (1978) Bubba Kolb – piano Frank Rosolino – Girl From Ipanema (1978) with the Bubba Kolb Trio at the Village Jazz Lounge Rosolino and Fontana – Wave (1978 Vancouver concert) 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. June Christy Frank Rosolino trombone solo I’ll Remember April, 1977 with the Lou Levy Sextet (re-mastered in 2006) 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 Frank Rosolino Trombone Blues for Alice with Supersax 1978 Frank Rosolino – Confirmation on Bob Cooper’s 1958 release “Coop!” 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 Frank Rosolino – 1926 – 1978: In Memoriam (Frank Rosolino performing “Violets” with The Metropole Orchestra; “Violets” by Louis Van Dyke, Jaques Schols, John Engels

About jesswaid

Currently, I write police procedural novels with the stories taking place in Hollywood during the early 1960s; a period when I was a street cop there. I've moved to Mexico to be closer to my hobby of studying Mexican history. My friend and fellow author, Professor Michael Hogan, is my mentor. I am planning to write a three-part epic story that takes place in the mid-nineteenth century. What has inspired me was hearing about Los Ninos Heroes, martyrs of the Battle of Chapultepec. Also, my father was born in Concordia, Mexico and knowing his family history is an added incentive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s