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The Last Recording - Frank Rosolino, Seabreeze Records


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"Frank Rosolino’s suicide is an unforgettably evil and tragic parallel to any discussion of his music. On Nov. 26, 1978 he shot his two young sons, killing one, and then shot himself. Nearly four months earlier, he had recorded three tunes with a Conn Multivider attached to his trombone. Two versions of each song comprise this album. After his death, apparently no record company wanted to invest in a three-tune album with the great trombone virtuoso using an electronic attachment.
In retrospect, the extra octaves of the Multivider are not the gross commercial compromise feared by record executives and Rosolino fans. The beauty of his tone, his lightning-like delivery and his bebop ingenuity remain largely unspoiled throughout performances of the standards “Misty” and “I Thought About You” and his “Waltz for Diane.” Each affords ample verification of why Rosolino was much admired among trombonists as well as fans. The rhythm section—pianist Larry Willis, bassist Kevan Brandon and drummer Billy Higgins—offers solid support. Nothing hints at the troubles ahead.
The performances of the standards include a lengthy take of each and a shorter “radio edit.” The performances of the Rosolino original are listed as “take one” and “take two.”
Diane Armesto, Rosolino’s girlfriend and manager at the time of his death, wrote the lengthy liner notes."
     --  Owen Cordle (JazzTimes)

"It took Frank Rosolino's widow Diane many years to find a label willing to release this music, and that is understandable. Frank Rosolino, one of jazz's greatest trombonists, went crazy on November 26, 1978, shooting two of his sons and killing himself. The completely unexpected turn of events from a trombonist who was witty and always seemed in good spirits was a shock to the jazz world, but he had apparently suffered from depression for years. In addition, the music on The Last Recording, recorded less than four months before the horrible ending, features Rosolino using a Multivider on his horn, an electronic device that gave him a sound in three octaves at once. However, the electronics do not stop Rosolino from sounding as distinctive, fluent and witty as ever; his sound is still present. And the tragic events that were coming up in the near future are not hinted at during this cheerful and swinging set. Rosolino is in excellent form as is pianist Larry Willis. Although there are two versions apiece of three songs, each of the renditions are quite different from each other and none of the selections are throwaways. Frank Rosolino fans and those who enjoy exuberant bebop trombone are recommended to pick up this lost treasure."
     --  Scott Yanow (AllMusic)

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