Frank Rosolino: Turn Me Loose (2002)
Those only familiar with Frank Rosolino’s trombone work may be surprised to find out that he also dabbled in vocals as well. Rosolino was highly regarded as a trombonist, especially on the West Coast scene, but seldom recorded as a leader; Free For All on the Specialty label is probably his best known work. Turn Me Loose features Rosolino doing double duty as soloist and vocalist, a la Chet Baker, and one could judge solely by the cover that this is an entertaining record by a man who is marching to the beat of a different drummer. Rosolino isn’t a great vocalist; the most that one can say is that he has an earnest charm and can stay on pitch. However, his presentation is often laugh out loud funny, such as when he combines hyper scat singing with yodeling or finishes off “Sometimes I’m Happy” with invented lyrics in a fake Mexican accent. By the time Rosolino starts screeching out notes he can’t quite reach with his trombone in the middle of a solo, one can easily conclude that this is one of the most unusual vocal turns in jazz, period. This would all be just a novelty album if Rosolino wasn’t such a wizard soloist, displaying incredible dexterity and speed on an instrument that resists both. The sidemen make worthy contributions as well, for the most part playing straight men to the inspired nonsense, but seeming to buy into Rosolino’s fun. An unusual album that is a welcome antidote to those who think that jazz is always serious business.
Track Listing: 1. Too Marvelous For Words 2. Come Rain Or Come Shine 3. Whatcha Gonna Do On Monday 4. Sometimes I'm Happy 5. Sweet Georgia Brown 6. Pennies From Heaven 7. I Cover The Waterfront 8. You're A Sweetheart 9. Please Don't Bug Me 10. It Had To Be You 11. That Old Black Magic 12. How Many Hearts Have You Broken.
Personnel: Frank Rosolino-trombone, vocals; Victor Feldman-piano; Chuck Berghofer-bass; Irving Cottler-drums.