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Poll
Question: Can anyone play the trombone as well as Frank Rosolino?
yes - 85 (69.7%)
yes, but only because Frank Rosolino is no longer with us - 11 (9%)
no - 26 (21.3%)
Total Voters: 116

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Author Topic: Rosolino vs the rest  (Read 38246 times)
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SensitiveJohn
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« on: Sep 19, 2007, 07:30PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln_ksnzscT8
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DaveAshley

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« Reply #1 on: Sep 19, 2007, 07:43PM »

I present this newly-posted video of Frank as evidence. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klg3SoMvm5A
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actikid
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 19, 2007, 07:47PM »

I didn't vote.  I'd check a box that says he was one of a kind.  There aren't any other trombonists I'd compare him with.  His approach was entirely different.
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 19, 2007, 07:53PM »

I present this newly-posted video of Frank as evidence. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klg3SoMvm5A
That was excellent, but it wasn't "Wave".  (The title said it was "Wave".  It was Corcovado aka Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars.)

That breakdown chorus was amazing, how they walked the changes right throughout and the whole ensemble came out the other end right on time.  Really brilliant.

It takes some real guts to trade choruses with Rosolino.
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 24, 2007, 02:08PM »

Frank was Frank and nobody else will ever be Frank.They mave have been influenced by him, that's it....
I think
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SensitiveJohn
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 25, 2007, 09:42AM »

So if 8 of you think that somebody is out there playing the trombone as well as Frank did, then tell us who it is.
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sabutin

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« Reply #6 on: Oct 26, 2007, 07:43AM »

So if 8 of you think that somebody is out there playing the trombone as well as Frank did, then tell us who it is.

Give me a break.

I got 8 right HERE!!!

Jack Teagarden

Lawrence Brown

Trummy Young

Tommy Dorsey

J. J. Johnson

Curtis Fuller

Urbie Green

Jimmy Knepper

And that's just scratching the SURFACE!!!

C'mon, man.

Rosolino was a great player.

But there have been...and are...SO many more.

And y'know what?

Many of them them cut him to SHREDS in terms of not using trombone licks...especially those damned turns...to mess up the contours of their melodic statements. That turn thing was like a tic of some kind.

You want to talk "technique"?

I played with three fairly young players this week...Vincent Gardner, Chris Crenshaw and Andre Hayward...who can play things on the horn that Rosolino never DREAMED of.

Bet on it.

This is not to take anything away from Frank. Not really. We all have our weaknesses. But to put ANYBODY up as "the greatest ever"? Ridiculous on the face of it.

Really.

S.

S.

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« Reply #7 on: Oct 26, 2007, 08:12AM »

There is simply no "one" best at anything. Be it pitching baseballs or playing trombone.

At some point in time you're splitting hairs over the differences which in my mind is a waste of time.

But no one stands far and above everyone else generically in a skill that encompasses any sort of complexity.

An artist may be better than many others in certain areas but he will be deficient in some other skill that another will exceed him in.

A perfect artist would require a perfect person under the hood, ain't seen many around myself.......
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 26, 2007, 12:14PM »

No one played the way Frank did better than Frank.  Lots of people play way out on the edge of possibility better than anyone else who plays like them.  I think this is called personality.  Lots of personalities, lots of best players.  Those of us who play like others, well, we're not the best, and there are lots more of us than them!
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Euphanasia

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« Reply #9 on: Oct 26, 2007, 02:52PM »

Give me a break.

I got 8 right HERE!!!

Jack Teagarden

Lawrence Brown

Trummy Young

Tommy Dorsey

J. J. Johnson

Curtis Fuller

Urbie Green

Jimmy Knepper




Ah, but can these guys incorporate yodeling into their scat singing? Well?
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 31, 2007, 05:11AM »

Quote
That turn thing was like a tic of some kind.

That's an interesting take on it. Could it be that that "tic" was related to the same personality disorder that ended his life?
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 31, 2007, 06:34AM »

That's an interesting take on it. Could it be that that "tic" was related to the same personality disorder that ended his life?

Who knows?

It always made me kinda nervous to hear it, that's for sure. Really. The reason that I so prefer the styles of people like Teagarden, Dorsey, Trummy Young, Urbie, J.J. and Jimmy Knepper to those of say Rosolino and Fontana is because of the relatively uninterrupted elegance and cleanliness of the former's lines. Even when they DID play embellishments, it was somehow integral to the melody and unexpected rather than a repeated interjection like someone saying "Y'know what I mean?" 20 times a sentence.

This is a pet peeve of mine with so many really accomplished trombonists. Like they feel somehow inferior and have to put all kinds of store bought window dressing and bows and ribbons on their melody. Give me Miles Davis or Perry Como any day. Just sing the damned thing.

When I hear that hiccup thing, I just turn off. Always have. I do not care HOW difficult it is. It's still a hiccup.

Later...

S.
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 31, 2007, 08:00AM »

Rosolino had a rare ability to break a groove down on trombone
part of that had to do with his fluidity, energy & solid time
The other part of it was that he used the trombone so dynamically
the horn becomes more of a percussion instrument this way.

He'd play quietly and pick funky, effective spots to open up in the top register
And he used those embellishments in the same way a drummer might stroke the snare, or the way a pianist might kick with the left hand.

I find it interesting when guys can tease this kind of a pseudo-polyphonic concept out of the instrument, using rhythm and combinations of sounds.


« Last Edit: Oct 31, 2007, 12:57PM by josh roseman » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: Oct 31, 2007, 12:42PM »


Doggone it, the second clip was taken down before I could view it.

Rosolino definitely had his mannerisms, but he was getting the sound out of the horn that he wanted. The same staccato triplet that he plays all the time is present in his singing, too, so it's not just some physical trombone thing.

As Josh said, it adds a funky rhythmic element that's almost like drumming or tap dancing. A lot of Hammond B-3 players use similar rhythmic effects. I could see why some people would like it and others find it distracting.

Teagarden had his 'trombonisms', too, but I still love his playing. It's probably just the basic tendency to discover something that you like a lot and play it a little too much.
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josh roseman

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« Reply #14 on: Oct 31, 2007, 01:19PM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Kp4_lmho0PI&amp;rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/Kp4_lmho0PI&amp;rel=1</a>


I love how he creeps under pitch sometimes and teases the center, like dexter...
then there's the balance- he offers a million of diversions, for sure- but then he picks a spot, and the notes just hang and the tune opens up.

None of which would be to discount what Sam's said about understatement and elegance, which was well-put.
but it's rare for a musician to be able to go both ways (which is why I love ben webster..)

I'm interested in the choices musicians make; to me, it seems that Rosolino was really able to "create his own shot," as they say in the hoops world.
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« Reply #15 on: Nov 01, 2007, 03:29AM »

As I've discussed on these boards before (and taken a lot of flack doing it) in my opinion Rosolino's style, while technically very advanced, was one that wore out the listener very quickly. It strikes me as rather manic in a way the Bird's style was not, like someone who is always talking too fast and too long in a nonstop patter that quickly becomes irritating. Both Rosolino and JJ were in their prime about the same time and I infinitely prefer the latter as a trombonist whose work will stand the test of time.

This point of a tic in Rosolino's playing as a symptom of his eventual complete derangement is an interesting one and makes his music even more unlistenable for me. Of course in light of the way he ended it all its my opinion that it would have been far better if Rosolino's two kids would have survived and his music died.
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 01, 2007, 03:43AM »

Let's not get into another discussion about that. Bad dog.  No Biscuits. Please keep this a music topic.
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 01, 2007, 03:46AM »

Just in my own humble opinion, I find his playing, at least on that clip, to be completely lacking in "soul" or "feeling", and also monumentally tedious. What IS the point of playing like that?
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« Reply #18 on: Nov 01, 2007, 04:17AM »

Mr. Rosolino's unfortunate demise seems to be a topic non grata around here, so I'll leave that alone.

I don't think mannerism is a deal-killer, whether you're talking about Willie Nelson or Lawrence Brown. There's a fair analogy in Aaron Neville's vocal style. For some people it's sublime and captivating; for others, it's like listening to someone sing while riding a bicycle along the railroad tracks. I can hear it both ways, but I like it.

Frank's playing has a sly, deadpan, hipster-ish quality that's a lot of fun, and when he's not doing his scat-a-tonic rhythms there's some melancholy and emotional depth. I admire people who can project their personality through an instrument.

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« Reply #19 on: Nov 01, 2007, 06:52AM »

Let's not get into another discussion about that. Bad dog.  No Biscuits. Please keep this a music topic.

The problem with this is that if you censor discussion after someone has made a controversial point, that point winds up hanging in the air unquestioned. I'm sorry, but that bothers me.

Apart from a general discussion of Rosolino's demise, it is possible to discuss the question of whether reflections of the worst of a person's psyche can be seen in their best times, and I'm open to another thread on this if Bonecall is up for it. Quite frankly, I hope not because I think the entire topic is fraught with misguided thinking. I've seen truly silly things written in this vein, the worst of which was an analysis of Emily Dickinson's poetry from the perspective of a handwriting analyst who felt that her unclosed "o"s were a symptom of the kidney disease that would eventually take her life. I certainly wouldn't want people to think that my playing outside the changes is a symptom of my depression. When I'm depressed, I don't play well. When I'm playing my best, I'm not depressed. The two don't coincide.

When you start looking for symptoms of a person's personal life in the technical aspects of their playing, you open yourself up to a world of overgeneralization and speculation. Do you hear "Blackness" in Jimi Hendrix's guitar solos? Do the later offerings of the Beatles still stink of Liverpool? Of course if you go looking for it, you'll think you have found it. That doesn't mean it's there.

Oh, and let me add this: Damn you, Sabutin! I had never even thought about those turns, and now I hear them in every Rosolino solo and I agree with you--they're quite "trombonish" and they certainly don't add to the musical statement of the solo. I would add, though, that turns and any other way of manipulating partials (like playing against the grain) are one of the best ways to get fast articulations out of a trombone, and Rosolino seems to have been one of the pioneers of this technique. You'd know better than I. I'm wondering if the turns were "trombonish" before Rosolino made them so. There will come a time when multiphonics are seen as a low brass cliche, but at least for right now, they seem to stretch the horizons of the instrument. Only time will tell.
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