Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Andy, I finally listened to Frank Rosolino Quartet Featuring Sonny Clark Complete Recordings you gave me in April. I would’ve listened to the album sooner. But I was swamped with new albums. This years, new albums have been rolling in faster than I can review them. Over the weekend, the mail carrier dropped off a stack of albums from High Note Records that'll take me a good two weeks to listen to. 

Anyway, the Frank Rosolino Quartet Featuring Sonny Clark Complete Recordings was everything you promised, clean old fashion be bop. A long time has passed since I’ve heard a pure be bop album. I guess I’ve been longing for one. Rosolino quartet with the great be bop piano player Sonny Clark—in my book the greatest ever, that’s not a slap in the face to Monk and Bud—was a good be bop band.

Andy, you have great taste in jazz, and a nose for tracking down obscure jazz musicians who never received—for whatever reasons—the praise they deserved. To your credit, Andy, you’re a hardcore jazz man. And, of course, the brains behind the Detroit Groove Society, the excellent home concert series. Also, thanks for emailing me jazz critic Gene Lee’s article about Rosolino’s suicide. I was upset after reading Rosolino killed his son then himself.

Lee nailed Rosolino personality. If playing jazz trombone hadn’t panned out, Rosolino could’ve made a living as a comic. Andy, if you listen closely you’d hear humor is his playing. Right now, I’m listening  The Complete Recordings. He just wrapped up My Delux. Now he's playing the head of the slow jam Flamingo. He could cook and tell stories on his trombone. I have to pause for a moment. Sonny Clark is taking a solo. Clark’s playing is crisp as a laundered dress shirt.

On It Had to be You, alto sax man Charles Mariano sounds as if he invested time studying Charlie Parker’s licks. Parker’s influence is evident. I appreciate how Rosolino took his sweet time on some up tempo tunes. Rosolino could race, too. On Sweet Georgia Brown Rosolino, Mariano and Clark chew up the changes like chicken wings.

Andy, what I appreciate most about having a hardcore jazz man as a friend is you’re always turning me on to hip jazz musicians and jazz albums. 
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