Archives for posts with tag: Adrian Rollini

At the Madeleine Jazz Bar in Vila Madalena in Sao Paulo on Thursday they were trying a new programme last week: five (yes, five!) saxophone players, with an upright bass and drums for a rhythm section. Two altos, two tenors and a baritone made a glorious wall of sound. It was as if the horn section of a big band had broken off and floated away. Standards both jazz and Brazilian were set out with exemplary elan.

Adrian Rollini playing bass saxophone

I was pleased to be able to direct the baritone player to Adrian Rollini’s playing. It suggests he is still less well-known than he should be; time to spread the word! And to help, here’s the man’s Orchestra, with Adrian himself on bass saxophone and on vibraphone, in March 1936, when he was playing the Tap Room at New York’s President Hotel. The tune is his too, Swing Low .

Adrian Rollini was a jazz multi-instrumentalist who worked from the 1920s (including a year-long stint at the London Savoy Ballroom)  into the 1950s. First famous for playing bass saxophone with the likes of Bix Beiderbecke, he later moved to vibraphone – one of the first to employ a four-stick technique – before retiring to run his own hotels and do some fishing, in Florida.

Rollini introduced other unusual instruments to jazz too: the ‘goofus’ or melodica, and the ‘hot fountain pen’ or chalumeau, a cross between a clarinet and a recorder.

The electrifying effect of his swinging bass line can be heard on tracks like Bix’s At the Jazz Band Ball. Now there’s a gig to enjoy! At The Jazz Band Ball

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