Frank Rosolino will be remembered and respected throughout the contemporary jazz world for his mastery of the trombone, his uncanny ability to fit and work successfully with a wide range of musical ideas, and perhaps last but not entirely forgotten, his wit and capacity for comic entertainment. There has seldom been a time when any single aspect of this amazingly complex individual was submerged for any great length of time. He was always the superb performer, upfront individually as a musician or commercially as an entertainer.
Frank Rosolino was born in Detroit on August 20, 1926 and began taking trombone lessons in the eighth grade or about the time he was 14 years of age. Many of the traditional musical hurdles had already been "smoothed" out prior to his introduction to the trombone as a result of the guitar lessons he received from his father from the age of 9. However, proof as to his advancement on the trombone was obviously much in evidence long before he graduated from Miller High School in Detroit . He had auditioned and was accepted into the Cass Tech Symphony orchestra which drew its members from all over the city of Detroit and to be chosen was considered to be quite an honor.
Frank went into the army at the age of 18, evenually joined the 86th Division Band and went overseas to the Philippines. His two year stay in the army provided him with the opportunity to experience yet another kind of musical performance and added to the overall preparedness to fend for himself as a full fledged professional musician upon release from the service.
Rosolino's career started in earnest upon release from the Army in early 1946 and for the next several years he was to gain invaluable experience playing with a great variety of bands.....Bob Chester, Glen Gray, Gene Krupa, Tony Pastor, Herbie Fields, Georgie Auld, and with his own groups in Detroit . His first major break came when he was offered the jazz chair with the great Stan Kenton Band in 1952 and he was one of the featured soloists with Kenton through late 1954. However, following the breakup of that great jazz band he continued to record with the Kenton studio bands as late as March 30, 1955. Earlier he had joined the Howard Rumsey Lighthouse All Stars and appeared on his first recording with the All Stars in December of 1954.