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Kenton Presents Mosaic

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When was the last time you were disappointed in a Mosaic set?

I haven't listened to this one a lot though I've had it nearly since it was released. That has more to do with the amount of material I HAVE to listen to and the choices I make. A nice set, although it's not at all the SAME thing, I think if you like the Pacific Jazz material contemporaneous to these sessions you'll enjoy these.

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When was the last time you were disappointed in a Mosaic set?

You make a good point, yes. The last Mosaic set I was disappointed with was the Bix/Tram box. I appreciated the Bix/Tram box and I enjoyed the history but I didn't 'get' the music at first. As always happens, as time progressed, I came to really appreciate and enjoy the Bix/Tram box.

It seems like I've read some negative opinions of the Kenton Presents box. Somebody at AAJ wrote that the Kenton Presents box is reminiscent of Shank/Cooper Mosaic Select. If this is true, I would enjoy the Kenton Presents Mosaic. Some may have been disappointed with the Kenton Presents because it's too West Coast, maybe?

I was going to order the Kenton box along with the Teddy Wilson box.

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The Bill Holman Great Big Band session is the BOMB! (Disc 4 I think it is.) It is a very good set, though I'm with Lon in that I don't think to play it that often...

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The Mosaic discography states: Tape transfers, remix on sessions M-O and mastering: Malcolm Addey.

Does this mean that somebody else did the other sessions, not including the M-O sessions? Was Addey involved in all the sesssions and I'm interpreting the discography incorrectly? :huh:

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My guess is: only M-O were three track masters that needed to/could be remixed; the others were were mono and two track transfers, all the remastering and transfers by Addey.

Edited by jazzbo

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Bill Holma says that most of his best music is in this set. So if you care for him, you should get it before it's too late (I don't think we'll see those recordings on single CD before a long time).

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Just one of my favorites-probably top ten. Gorgeous music. Not to be missed.

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We all (you included) know you'll have it before that procrastinator gets posted again here ;)

ubu

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We all (you included) know you'll have it before that procrastinator gets posted again here ;)

ubu

hey if you gonna post that one again, here's a nice alternate take:

(small file size uploaded below:)

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(you included)

You talking 'bout me? :lol:

My Kenton order was placed last night. Heh.

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I've not got around to getting this yet as I've so much of it on vinyl. What I have is great and the cd transfers will make it even better. I'm sure you wont be disappointed. Incidentally I will be getting it before very long.

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I've had this set for about three weeks and love it all, with the small exception of the four Rosolino vocals - goofy fun but still a minor irritant.

The Cooper small band tracks are in the same league as the Cooper/Shank stuff.

The Rosolino cuts are in a tougher hard bop bag.

The Holmans - both medium and big band - are fantastic.

There's a lot of music and variety over four discs, so much so I am surprised this set is so little discussed - until now.

As one of the glowing reviews at the Mosaic site has stated, the label has does a pretty good job of representing various facets of west coast jazz.

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I just learned this, from AMG, how Rosolino died. How weird.

The horrible way that Frank Rosolino's life ended (killing himself after shooting his two sons) has largely overshadowed his earlier musical accomplishments. One of the top trombonists of the 1950s, Rosolino's fluid and often-humorous style put him near the top of his field for awhile.

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I just learned this, from AMG, how Rosolino died. How weird.

The horrible way that Frank Rosolino's life ended (killing himself after shooting his two sons) has largely overshadowed his earlier musical accomplishments. One of the top trombonists of the 1950s, Rosolino's fluid and often-humorous style put him near the top of his field for awhile.

November 26th, 1978. I remember hearing about it on the radio, home from college for Thanksgiving.

Yes, this is a very sad story. Frank must have been in a pretty dark place. One of his sons survived the shooting, but has some physical problems although I'm not sure exactly what. I think he may be blind among other things. Another thing, I'm not sure if it's true, but I heard Frank's wife Diane had just arrived home and saw a flash come from the house.

In spite of all this nastiness, I still am able to listen to and enjoy Frank's music. His playing has such an incredible spirit that I just can't write it off. There are several players I enjoy to whom music seemed to be the only bright spot in their lives. In spite of bios and hearsay that may or may not be accurate I still listen to the music of Chet. And Getz. And Art Pepper. I also have friends to whom music seems to be the only source of happiness- otherwise, they're a wreck.

Pretty hard to beat what Frank did, though. The majority of his close friends apparently didn't see it coming (although some had remarked that Frank's incessant clowning sometimes made them wonder if there might be something being concealed) and were outraged that he would take his own life, and ESPECIALLY that he would try to take his kids with him. Hard to forgive that.

All that being said, my feeling is don't let this sad story prevent you from enjoying some really great music.

Edited by Free For All

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'Chapter 7 -  The Joker: Frank Rosolino'

from MEET ME AT JIM AND ANDY'S: JAZZ MUSICIANS AND THEIR WORLD written by Gene Lees.

What happened on November 26, 1978?

THERE ARE THOSE, the fine saxophonist Don Menza among them, who long

afterwards found it all but impossible to talk about what happened in those

early hours of November 26, 1978. By one of those bits of mental

prestidigitation with which we protects our sanity, we all succeeded in not

even thinking about it. We pushed the event into some closet in a back room

of the mind, and then we all shut the door. I cannot to this day explain,

and neither can the homicide detectives, why it happened. I'll tell you, as

I told them, what I know. Frank Rosolino was among the best-loved men in

jazz. One of the finest trombone players in the history of the instrument,

he had a superb tone, astonishing facility, a deep Italianate lyricism, and

rich invention. Frank was, very simply, a sensational player. In addition

he had a wonderful spirit that always communicated itself to his associates

on the bandstand or the record date. He was one of the funniest of men,

with a wit that literally would not quit. He bubbled. Quincy Jones

remembered touring Japan with a group that included Frank and drummer Grady

Tate. "With those two," Quincy said, "you can imagine what it was like. The

band was always in an uproar."

Frank was one of a number--Donald Byrd was another--of fine jazz musicians

to come out of Cass Tech in Detroit, a superior high school which drew its

students from all over the city. Only the exceptional could even get into

it. Frank always had the air of a mischievous kid looking for some hell to

raise or trouble to get into, and this trait had emerged by the time he

went to Cass Tech. Giggling in that way of his, he would in later years

recall swiping cars for joyrides. It was always a serious mistake to get

into a poker game with Frank. He was one of those men who, but for a

soaring and compelling musical talent, might well have ended up in jail.

Like everyone who knew him, I remember vividly the last times I saw Frank.

We were at Dick Gibson's party in Colorado, one of those events that sprung

up in recent years in which aging rich jazz fans invite brilliant musicians

to come and play for them. At one point he played with Carl Fontana and

Bill Watrous, and the three-trombone music was gorgeous. In another

unforgettable set, Clark Terry and Frank did several scat-singing duets.

They kept making each other laugh, and afterwards I urged them to record

together, not playing so much as scatting. Frank was one of the few people

who could scat on the same bandstand with Clark Terry. The main events of

the long weekend were held in the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs,

noted for exciting scenery, dull food, and sullen service. After the last

performance at the Broadmoor, we all traveled by bus back to Dick Gibson's

house in Denver, Frank and the girl he was living with, Diane, were in the

seat behind my wife and me. We did not know it at the time, but Frank's

third wife, the mother of his two sons, had gone into their garage, shut

the door, turned on the car's engine, and sat there in the fumes until she

died. I do not know her motive. Frank, in the seat behind us, was talking

about following her, killing himself and taking the two boys with him,

since he could not bear the thought of leaving them behind in this world.

Were we hearing him correctly? Diane said, "Don't talk that way, Frank.

Let's pray together." That evening in Denver there was a final informal

party at Gibson's house. Frank seemed cheerful, making my wife and I doubt

the accuracy of our hearing in the noise of the bus. She and I leave early

to get back to Los Angeles. So did Frank, who had a gig the next morning.

We took a cab to the airport together. Frank was as funny as always. The

conversation overheard on the bus seemed like the morning memory of a

nightmare. We were told at the airport that the flight would be boarding

late. My wife and Frank and I wandered around with little to do. Frank

shattered the impersonal tedium that hangs in the atmosphere of all

airports: he had us laughing so hard that a salesgirl in the bookshop,

watching us with suspicion, pointed us out to a security guard, who kept an

eye on us.

Part of it was Frank's delivery. It has been said that a comic says funny

things and a comedian says things funny. Frank was both. He had a lazy

low-key way of talking, the epitome of cool, that was either the archetype

or the mockery of the classic bebop musician. You never knew who Frank was

putting on, the world or himself. Or both. And he had a loose-jointed

rag-doll ah-the-hell-with-it way of walking. Frank could even more

humorously. He seemed to relish the idea of the bebopper, even as he made

fun of it. Having exhausted the airport's opportunities for amusement, we

went into its coffee shop. It had a U-shaped counter and a terrazzo floor

that someone had just mopped with a hideous disinfectant. The air was full

of flies, drifting back and forth in lazy curves. We slid onto stools. A

waitress about thirty years old approached us. Frank said in that

nruffled-by-anything drawl of his, "I'll have a bowl of those flies,

please." With unexpected sang-froid, the waitress tossed the ball right

back at him. "We only serve them on Thursdays," she said. "Then I'll come

back Thursday," Frank said, and we all laughed, including the waitress.

Finally, late, we were told that we could board the plane, a TWA flight on

stopover between Chicago and Los Angeles. On the plane, returning from an

engagement was, to our delighted surprise, Sarah Vaughan. Red Callender,

the bassist, and his wife were also with us. We all sat together and

talked, waiting for the take-off. The pilot's disembodied voice told us

that there was fog in Los Angeles and the flight would be further delayed.

Frank got funnier, Sass got helpless with laughter. Frank asked a pretty

stewardess if we could have drinks. She said it was against regulations for

her to serve them before takeoff. But Frank soon had her laughing too, and

she left to get us the drinks. Frank said, "I have to be careful. I

wouldn't want her to lose her gig over it, 'cause then I might have to

marry her." At last the plane took off. Sass wanted to sleep but Frank kept

up his jokes, and she said, "Frank, stop it!" Finally, shaking her head,

she moved further back in the plane to escape him. At last weariness

overcame him, and Frank too fell asleep, sprawled across two or three seats

of the nearly empty aircraft. I awoke in daylight to the sound of the

pilot's voice telling us to fasten seat belts for the descent into Los

Angeles. I peered around the back of the seat ahead of me and saw that

Frank was still asleep. By this time in his life, his thick dark curly hair

had become almost white and he had a full iron-gray mustache. And yet,

asleep, he looked like that boy at Cass Tech, trying to find a little

action. I shook his shoulder and said, "Frank, Wake up, we're home."

I turned on the television that morning to watch the news, then drifted

back into that soft state between sleeping and waking. Then there was a

voice saying, "The internationally celebrated jazz trombonist Frank

Rosolino took his own life last night." Police in the Van Nuys division say

that Frank Rosolino shot his two small sons and then turned the gun on

himself. One of the children is dead; the other is in critical condition,

undergoing surgery. Frank Rosolino, who became nationally known with the

bands of Gene Krupa and Stan Kenton, was... ""No!" I shouted, waking my

wife. She asked what had happened. I told her. She burst into tears. We

remembered his words on the bus. I got up and, after staring at the floor

for a while, telephoned the Van Nuys police and asked first for homicide,

then for whoever was handling the Frank Rosolino "case." After a while a

man took up the telephone and gave me his name. I gave him mine and asked

if he could tell me any more than I had heard on the news. "Did you know

him, sir?" he asked. "Yes, I did." "Then perhaps, you can help us." he

said. "We're just puzzled." "So am I," I said. "But not totally surprised."

I told him about the bus trip to Colorado. "Is it possible that drugs were

involved?" the detective asked carefully. "I don't know," I said. "Although

nowadays, you always wonder that." I told him what kind of person Frank

was, how loved he was. But even as I said it I questioned how well any of

us had really known him. I had realized there was a dark side of Frank but

had never dreamed that it was this dark. And, as Roger Kellaway said later.

When somebody cracks four jokes a minute, we all should have known there

was something wrong." The conversation with the detective at last ended, as

unsatisfying to him as it was to me. In the course of that day and the next

I learned a little more. Diane (the girl Frank was living with) had wanted

to go to Donte's to hear Bill Watrous. Donte's is a nightclub in North

Hollywood, a hangout for musicians and one of the few places in Los Angeles

where the best studio players can go to play jazz and remind themselves why

they took up instruments in the first place. Frank said he wanted to stay

home with his two boys: Jason, who was then seven, and Justin, nine. I met

those boys once, at a party at the home of Sergio Mendes. They were full of

laughter and energy and mischief, like Frank. They were wonderfully

handsome and happy little fellows, scampering like puppies amid the hors

d'oeuvres and among the legs of people, having a high old time. Diane went

to Donte's with a visiting girlfriend. They came home toward four o'clock

in the morning and were sitting in the car in the driveway when they saw a

flash of light in the boy's bedroom. Thinking the boys were awake, they got

out and went into the house. As they entered they heard the last shot, the

one Frank put into his brain. He was still alive. I do not know and do not

want to know the further details. In any case, he soon died. Frank had gone

to the bedroom where Jason and Justin were sleeping and shot each of them

in the head. Justin was dead. Jason was not. That night and long into the

next day he underwent surgery--fourteen hours of it. The autopsy deepened

the mystery. The coroner's report said that there were no significant

amounts of alcohol or drugs in Frank's system.

A service was organized or Frank's friends. His two brothers, Russell and

Gasper Rosolino, had flown out from Detroit to take Frank and Justin back

with them for burial. I do not remember the name of the funeral home, but I

can see its polite and muted decor. A lot of us, including Don Menza,

Shelly Manne, and Conte and Pete Candoli, were standing around in little

groups in the lobby, watching our friends arrive. It seemed everyone in

town was there. I don't think any man ever had fewer enemies and more

friends than Frank Rosolino. J.J. Johnson and Herb Ellis came in together;

I can still see their bleak faces. Med Flory said, "Well, Frank sure took

care of Christmas for all of us." Finally, because it seemed the thing to

do, I wandered into the chapel. The two coffins were in the expected place

at the front of it. Roger Kellaway and I walked apprehensively toward them.

The cosmeticians had done well. Beautiful little Justin truly did look as

if were merely sleeping on the velvet cushion. Frank too looked asleep, as

I had seen him on the plane over Los Angeles.

Roger Kellaway said something softly as he looked at Justin. Later he told

me it was a prayer. Then he looked down at Frank and said, "You asshole,"

expressing the strange compound of love and grief and anger we were all

feeling toward Frank. I couldn't face sitting through a service. What was

there to say? Roger and I headed for a nearby tavern and had a couple so

Scotches. For, as Roger put it, "I've had friends who killed themselves

before, but I've never had one who killed his kid." He stared into his

drink. The bar was lit softly. The upholstery was red. He said, "You can

make that decision for yourself, but you have no right to make it for

anyone else." After a time we went back to the chapel. The service, which

had been short, was over, and our friends were standing quietly in the

lobby. Later there as a wake at Don Menza's house in North Hollywood. Menza

and I talked for a while about Verdi. And about Frank. Frank had fought his

share of the jazz wars. He had been through financial hard times and lived

to see himself and other musicians of brilliance and in some cases genius

struggling to pay their telephone bills, while grungy illiterate singers

rode around in limousines, with expensive whores, and demolished hotel

rooms and recording studios and told their underlings to put it on the

bill. He had even lived to see their likes earnestly analyzed as artists in

the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone and

Newsweek. But things had been improving for him, Menza told me, including

Frank's financial situation. Frank had wanted to play more jazz, and he was

doing it. Don said that he and Frank had been scheduled to make an album,

and there was more work of that kind on Frank's calendar. He and Frank had

been very close. Med Flory was right. Christmas was dreary that year.

At first we heard that Jason would be both deaf and blind. For a long time

he was in coma. We heard that he would come out of it and scream and then

lapse back into unconsciousness. You found yourself thinking some strange

thoughts. What would happen to him if he should indeed be both blind and

deaf? What communication would he have with the world? Would he be a

vegetable? Or, worse, would he be a sentient conscious being trapped in a

black silence with memories of sight and sounds and never knowing why and

how they had suddenly ceased? Had he been the second one shot? Had he seen

his brother killed?

After a while we heard that Jason could hear. He was living by now with

relatives of his mother. Gradually I stopped thinking about him. And about

Frank. Every once in a while, though, something would happen to remind me.

Roger Kellaway and I were on our way to an appointment in Tarzana, an area

of Los Angeles at the west end of the San Fernando Valley. We saw a little

boy, about three, crying in the street. We stopped the car. The boy was

lost. Roger and I decided that he would go on to our appointment while I

tried to learn where the boy belonged. I asked passing people if they knew

the child. Gradually a crowd gathered. A tall handsome man in his late

fifties introduced himself. He was a cop, a lieutenant. He lived in a

nearby building. We went up to his apartment, where he gave the boy

something to eat. The child stopped crying. The man picked up the phone,

dialed, and identified himself. He was head of the Van Nuys homicide

division. While we waited for a police car--which in due course did find

the boy's home--I asked the lieutenant if he had handled the "Rosolino

case." He said that two of his men had.

I found myself going over it all again. So did the lieutenant. He told me

that in his line of work one inevitably becomes inured, but the two

detectives who had gone to Frank Rosolino's house that night had come back

to the office in tears. "Yeah," I said. "They were beautiful little boys."

After that I banished Frank from my thoughts. I never listened to his

records. But Jason Rosolino didn't cease to be. He was adopted by a cousin

of his mother, Claudia Eien, and her husband, Gary. Caring for him

exhausted the family's resources, emotional, physical, and financial. Jason

was sent to Braille school, but he was suffering from psychological

problems. Surprised? "But he's beautiful," Don Menza's wife, Rose, said.

"He's smart as a whip. He has all Frank's fire and energy." He was also,

she said, very musical. He had tried trumpet and trombone and piano, but he

had no patience.

Five years passed. The strain on Claudia and Gary of caring for him had

proved enormous. Don and Rose Menza and other musicians and their wives

planned a concert to help Jason and some other people in need. It ran from

5:00 p.m. to midnight on the evening of October 30, 1983, at the Hollywood

Palladium, a grand old ballroom from the 1930s filled with the ghosts of

vanished bands. It seemed everyone was there: the big bands of Bill Berry

and Don Menza, Supersax, Steve Allen, Jack Lemmon, Shelly Manne, Ernie

Andrews, the Tonight Show band... And Jason. He was there with his adoptive

parents and a young psychologist who had been working with him. At first I

stayed away from them. A lot of people did. Finally my wife said, "We can't

all ignore him." I thought, what is it? Am I afraid of a twelve-year-old

boy? Or am I afraid of seeming to manifest a morbid curiosity? Or are you,

I said to myself, afraid that you can't handle what he has been through?

"Go and talk to him," my wife said. "You go and talk to him!" I answered.

But in the end I did it. Very timidly, I introduced myself to the Eien

family, and soon found myself caught up in conversation. My wife then

joined us. "I used to know you a long time ago, Jason," I said. "Before I

was seven?" "Yes," I said. "Before you were seven." He was a handsome boy,

tall, dark, and strongly muscled. There was a scar on his temple but it was

not all that conspicuous. The eyes were in deep shadows, unseeing. The

bullet destroyed the optic nerve but it did not touch the centers of

intelligence. The psychologist told me Jason had a genius I.Q. And you

could see, as you watched him listen to the music, that he had elephant

ears. An uncanny thing happened then--two uncanny things. He touched my

wife's hair. Not her face, just her hair. He said, "I know what you look

like." "And what do I look like?" He gave a wolf whistle, then said, "You

have blonde hair and a full mouth." All of it accurate. I was not too

severely unnerved by that. Dave MacKay, the pianist, is also blind. I have

known Dave, at a social affair, to describe the color of a sweater worn by

someone just entering the room. And Dave has a remarkable ability to fathom

character merely from the sound of a voice. "How do you know that?" I asked

Jason. "From her voice," Jason said. But the next one was even stranger. My

wife mentioned a friend in Santa Barbara who grew flowers. Jason said he

knew what the man looked like. He said the man was tall and fair-headed.

This was accurate. But how many tall sandy-haired Japanese have you met?

Don Menza's band was performing. "Who's playing the trumpet solo?" Jason

asked me. "Chuck Findley," I said, and then thought, why misinform him?

"Actually, it is not a trumpet, it is a flugelhorn." "What's the

difference?" "It's a somewhat bigger instrument, it plays in a slightly

lower register, and it has a darker sound." "What do you mean by darker?"

That stopped me. One of those moments when you realize that music cannot be

described. And in the attempt we usually resort to visual analogies, which

did not seem appropriate in the present instance. "It's fatter, it's

thicker somehow," I said. Then Bill Berry played a solo. "That's a trumpet

in a Harmon mute," I told Jason, and explained the use of mutes. "It sounds

a little like a saxophone," Jason said. And not many orchestrators have

noticed that resemblance. Shelly Manne was playing with Don Menza's band.

Two weeks earlier Shelly had been hurt in an encounter with a horse on his

ranch and one leg was immobilized by a cast. This meant he was working

without a high hat. I explained this to Jason. "What's a high hat?" he

said. Give me your hands," I said, and put them palm to palm horizontally.

I slapped them together on the second and fourth beats of the music. "Two

cymbals facing each other, like that. You work them with a foot pedal."

"Oh, yes, I know," Jason said. "I used to play drums." We listened to the

music for a time. "I think a lot of people are trying to help you, Jason,"

I said "A lot of people in this room love you." "Why?" "Just because. Take

my word for it," I said. "Do you know who really loves me?" "Who?" "God

loves me," he said.

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I try (and it's sometimes very difficult) to ignore this tragedy when I listen to Frank Rosolino records. And tend to remember him as the jolly character everybody talked and wrote about before all this happened.

The Mosaic Kenton Presents box is one of my favorite. Lots of superb music. And the Rosolino sides are worth the purchase.

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Sometimes, when learning about the history of jazz, a person discovers the unexpected. I didn't expect to learn what I learned about the death of Frank Rosolino. While it's a sad story, it enhances my enjoyment of the music. The more I know, the more I want to know. The good mixed with the bad, in jazz, makes jazz seem, to me, more genuine. The music and its history aren't just some thin Hollywood story. Rather, the history of jazz is made of real people with real struggles, real success, and real failures. I like things that find a way to seem genuine.

My copy of the Kenton Presents Mosaic will be arriving on 7/2/2004. I look forward to hearing the music now that I know some history of the life of Frank Rosolino. Till reading about him at the Mosaic web site, I'd never heard of Rosolino (or Holman).

My knowlege of jazz continues to grow. Sometimes, such as with Rosolino, in unexpected directions. As a result, I feel a 'pull' from the music and its history. The 'pull' grows stronger as my knowledge of the music grows deeper.

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Check this one out:

rosolino.jpg

A very good one, with Richie Kamuca, Vince Guaraldi, Monty Budwig and Stan Levey. (link)

Thanks for posting the Lees text, Barak! I shall read it tonight.

ubu

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Frank Rosolino also plays excellently in the Sackville album 'Thinking About Tou', a 1976 live session with Ed Bickert on guitar, Don Thompson on bass and Terry Clarke on drums.

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&u...l=Attabqj5yojsa

I loved the LP album when it was published. The double CD has about 90 minutes additional music. All good.

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Frank Rosolino also plays excellently in the Sackville album 'Thinking About Tou', a 1976 live session with Ed Bickert on guitar, Don Thompson on bass and Terry Clarke on drums.

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&u...l=Attabqj5yojsa

I loved the LP album when it was published. The double CD has about 90 minutes additional music. All good.

What brownie said. A very good set!

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Check this one out:

rosolino.jpg

A very good one, with Richie Kamuca, Vince Guaraldi, Monty Budwig and Stan Levey. (link)

I'm not too fond of Rosolino's albums as a leader. I picked that one up because of Kamuca.

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The Rosolino part of this set is a favorite. It *really* turned me on to the playing of Charlie Mariano. Really nice stuff.

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I'm happy with the amount of information I've gained, regarding Frank Rosolino, since I posted this thread. I won't get my Kenton box till I get home this evening.

Normally, I get the Mosaic box then learn about the players. In this case, however, I'm learning about the players before I get my hands on the Mosaic box. Hehe... ^_^

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