Tommy and Jimmy DorseyThommy and Jimmy Dorsey
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra - Vol. IV - Last Moment Of Greatness (Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Stereo)
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? Album di The Boswell Sisters,Jimmy Dorsey,Dorsey Brothers Orchestra,Tommy And Jimmy Dorsey,J. The Grier Orchestra, Victor Young & his Orchestra
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Cagliari - Eventi regionali
Between 1935 and 1946, the most popular genre in the United States was Swing: besides Ellington and Basie, other musicians and bandleaders such as Louis Prima, Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, Harry James and Artie Shaw were the protagonists of that time.
Rollini un virtuos stimenticato
Although his name is inextricably linked to the bass saxophone - an instrument as unusual as it is ungrateful, which he was able to use with great skill from a soloist's point of view - since his youth Rollini has succeeded in trying his hand at a multitude of instruments (xylophone, piano, vibraphone, clarinet, saxophone, percussion) and even in inventing two of them:
the hot pens (a mini clarinet with a single octave with a high sound similar to that of a violin) and the spinner (a strange cross between saxophone and harmonica). In the early twenties, having been brought to the forefront by the California Ramblers, in a few years he became one of the spearheads of the New York school, mainly thanks to his successful partnerships with Red Nichols, Miff Mole, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Frank Trumbauer and Bix Beiderbecke.
Between June and October 1926 he participated in eighteen recording sessions with eight different leaders (Dick Sudhalter took them all in Los): White Musicians And Their Contribution To Jazz 1915-1945, Oxford University Press 1999). But Rollini was not only a very important home-style fare that is generally recognized: he was also an innovative soloist who opened up new technical-expressive perspectives for the bass saxophone and, to a lesser extent, for the vibraphone.
And even in the large and not always excellent production as a leading company, there are works that deserve the highest attention. Born in New York in June 1903, the son of a wealthy family, New York, his grandfather Antoine Rollins was a French soldier who, after fleeing to Italy, changed his surname to Rollini and married an Italian girl. He began studying piano at a young age (his brother Arthur also followed in his footsteps and became a talented tenorist).
In 1922, he was appointed to the California Ramblers, a very popular band at the time, in which, when he had to replace the bass tubist, he began to try his hand at the bass saxophone (which is in Bb like the tenor, but an octave lower), in his opinion more flexible, by helping to make the rhythmic tone of this formation much looser and at the same time reveal the full potential of an instrument that had previously been little used.
The production of the California Rammers and the reduced formations derived from them (Goofus Five, University Six, Varsity Eight, Little Rammers and others), characterized by a mechanical, impulsive, military tone, still resembles the synchronized kind of metal of which Jim Europe, Joe Frisco, Earl Fuller and Vincent Lopez were undisputed runners.
The few flashes of light are represented by the interventions of Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Bobby Davis and Adrian Rollini, who became the key element of this training. Since his first solos (My Sweet Went Away and Sittin' In The Corner of 1923, Copenhagen and After You've Gone of 1924), it is immediately apparent that the voice of the bass saxophone is not only gradually becoming an integral part of the melodic part, giving more warmth and colour to the sound blends, but is also the less conventional and predictable soloist.
Dustin' The Donkey, Tiger Rag, San (ancora con i California Ramblers); Ida e Feelin' No Pain (con i Five Pennies di Red Nichols); Ballin' The Jack, Navy Blues (Miff Mole); Desdemona (University Six); Lazy Weather (Goofus Five, gove si apprezza Rollini profrio al goofus); Sugar, Somebody Stole My Gal (Fred Elizalde); Royal Garden Blues, Since My Best Gal (Bix Beiderbecke).
In the last title, recorded with the Gang in 1927, the bass saxophone blends arrogantly into the front line, leading to a daring pursuit with the leader's cornet and pointing Don Murray and Bill Rank into the role of a co-primand. The recordings in which the bass saxophone really has a chance to make its mark as a soloist are those of Joe Venuti's Blue Four and Blue Five, where due to the absence of a real front line it functions as a purely melodic instrument that interchanges with the leader's violin and (if present) Jimmy Dorsey's clarinet, showing the same phrasing ability as an alto or tenor saxophone.
Käse und Cracker, den Hund schlagen, ich bin Somebody's Somebody Now, Up And Take (Pigeon-Adrian Rollini suitona la hot fountain pens ), Raggin' The Scale conservano àncor uggi un'incredibile freeschezza. The contrast between the heavenly, light, almost intangible voice of the violin and the hoarse, rough, angular voice of the bass saxophone creates a mixture that is as original as it is suggestive.
But the highlight is probably the 1933 Blue Six of Venuti Blues where the challenge also concerns Benny Goodman's clarinet and Bud Freeman's tenor, who struggles with the swirling and unpredictable spirals of the bass saxophone. In New York White Music some of the most important examples of chamber music are on the verge of symphony, and it is precisely the cavernous voice of the bass saxophone that prevents the violin from moving too much on the classical side while at the same time producing the overall tone in a refined and primitive way.
It' a similar formulation to that of Clarence Williams at the top of the Blue Five: Ed Allen, Buster Bailey and the monstrous tube player Cyrus St. Clair, a kind of black counterpart to Rollini. Spencer Clark (one of his most authoritarian students along with Min Leibrook and Joe Rushton), referring to this series of recordings, said that Rollini on bass saxophone is like Jack Teagarden on trumpet.
Even Coleman Hawkins admitted that he had been encouraged to try the bass saxophone (in Nobody's Rose and Pensacola, recorded with Fletcher Henderson in December 1925) because he was fascinated by Rollini's skill and had taken it into account when using the tenor's bass register, as well as - according to Stanley Dance (The World Of Duke Ellington, Scribner 1970) - Harry Carney with the baritone saxophone.
When he was still very young, he tried to amplify the xylophone and integrate it with a pedal in order to improve its sound, but it was not until the early thirties that he changed with a certain regularity from the vibraphone to the bass saxophone, which also showed his remarkable talent and a certain virtuosity (he was one of the first to use the four sticks).
The 1933 versions of Vibrafonia (with Venuti), Charlie's Home and Blue Prelude (in his name) are among the first important examples, even though his fame as a vibraphonist is based mainly on recordings of trios: from Vibrollini to Rebound, which he composed himself (from then on he used more and more of his commercial compositions, which were of little interest from a jazz point of view).
In 1933-34 Rollini began to perform at the head of his own formations: most of the recordings (melotone, banner, vocalion) are remembered for the solo contribution of Benny Goodman, Bunny Berigan and the director (You've Got Everything and Savage); punishing them is the choice of a too commercial repertoire and the excessive space for modest singers.
An exception is the Decca session at the head of a group of stars, including his brother Arthur (who was then a permanent member of Goodman's orchestra and later wrote the interesting autobiography Thirty Years with the Big Bands), Goodman, Jack Teagarden and guitarist George Van Eps: The result were some interesting examples of melodically refined and rhythmically light crosses between Swing and Davenport Blues and Riverboat Shuffle, pleasantly arranged by Fred Van Eps (George's brother) after the original versions of Bix and refined by a series of excellent interventions of Teagarden-Ptrombone, Goodman-Klarinette and of course the Bass-Saxophone of the Leaders, which was used as the lead instrument (with the other horns in the lead).
The following year, Rollini, who had a strong business sense, opened the Tap Room at the President Hotel in New York, where he performed musicians such as Wingy Manone, Joe Marsala, Freddy Jenkins, Albert Nicholas, Bernard Addison, Big Joe Turner, Ward Pinket, Putney Dandridge, Jack Russin and reserved a lot of space for his interventions on bass saxophone, vibraphone, piano and drums.
With the Tap Room Gang and the Little Ramblers, he recorded several records for Victor in which he wanted to recreate the tone and atmosphere of the quintets of Waller's quintet (who was depopulated at the time) in a somewhat parodistic tone, which burdened the contribution of talented soloists, first and foremost Albert Nicholas and Ward Pinkett.
As pianist and vibraphonist we find Rollini again, at the top of small groups, at the Whitby Grill in street #45 and then at the Picadilly Circus of the hotel of the same name. In the meantime Rollini had opened an instrument shop (sales and repair). His name had long since fallen into oblivion, also because he had never really enjoyed great popularity, although he had all the prerequisites to rise to the Olympus of saxophonists as a genius of the bass saxophone.