Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
"Free For All" Possibly the Greatest Bebop Trombone Album
Christopher Tune | No. Hollywood, CA USA | 04/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a long-time fan of Frank Rosolino I was astounded yet again by how good this unique trombone player could sound. Upon reading the liner notes, I could see the circumstances that left this album unreleased until after Frank's tragic death.Here is a well recorded sterophonic album with some of the greatest bebop musicians to ever play a jam session (Levey harks back to Charlie Parker bands, Rosolino and Harold Land are lesser-known kings of bebop, Leroy Vinnegar is one of the best bass players to ever play, and Victor Feldman is perhaps better known as a perfomer on Steely Dan albums, but is, in fact a fabulous bebop pianist).Since the recording was made in 1958 we can assume that it went unreleased because the marketplace at the time wanted only the burgeoning style of "Rock and Roll", Elvis was king back then and Jazz players with styles from the 1940's could easily get lost in the shuffle.The liner notes say how Rosolino contacted the record company pleading to have the record released: "It is my best recording ever". And this is true. Of the currently available CDs only "Fond Memories" is close to this in virtuosity.This is not laid back "West Coast Jazz". This is uptempo kicking bebop. The similarity to the Gillespie, Navarro, Parker style is not something subtle--it is the essence of this style.Frank had a well rehearsed and recorded band here with extremely tight rhythm section playing and very relaxed and creative sounding improvisation. The choice of tunes is very good with a mixture of more complex and rich "standards" and band member compositions with more funkiness and less challenge to the listener. Never does this album seek to "talk down to" the listener. Frank and Harold stay in perfect compatibility each adhering to his own style with graceful blend. I would encourage everyone interested in bebop music to order this CD. It is bebop at its finest."
Fine mainstream date from an underrated player
N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 06/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"According to the producer David Axelrod this album, recorded in 1958, was intended as "the first hard bop album recorded and released on the West Coast". Sadly, the record company failed to release the album until after Rosolino's death. I have no idea why: it's a very good date. Despite the intentions, it doesn't really work out much like a hard bop album--if that's what they were aiming for, why programme tunes like "Stardust"?--but it's a solid, enjoyable date. Rosolino never got his due as a first-rank trombonist of the period, but plays throughout with grace & elegance. The band is very good--Harold Land on tenor, Victor Feldman on piano, Leroy Vinnegar on bass, Stan Levey on drums. (Perhaps in an ideal world it would have had Shelly Manne on drums; & Land's never quite grabbed me--I think I prefer Richie Kamuca & Teddy Edwards from among his peers. Nonetheless, everyone plays well.)Well worth a listen. Rather than recite the grim facts of Rosolino's end yet again--this always seems to come up in any discussion of his music--let me instead point out that if you want to catch a glimpse of the man in action, rent the film _I Want to Live_, which starts off with a performance by a terrific west-coast group (if memory serves, Bud Shank & Art Farmer are also in the front line)."