Trombone Heaven, Vancouver, 1978

Trombone Heaven, Vancouver, 1978

by Frank Rosolino

CD

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Overview

Trombone Heaven, Vancouver, 1978

Save J.J. Johnson, Frank Rosolino, and Carl Fontana were the two most technically gifted jazz trombonists without peer. Period. Putting them together is indeed like being in trombone heaven, yet this club date in Vancouver, British Columbia at the Bayside Room proved their styles were compatible even if their sounds were distinct. The ultra-literate Rosolino, displaying a cat quick tonguing technique, runs rings around anybody the instrument has ever known, while Fontana restrained his ultimate gifts in favor of a more precise, soulful, refined, full, less showy sound, yet could play effortless bebop at the flip of a switch. These two, in their own inimitable ways, truly had it goin' on! Unfortunately, both sported limited discographies, so this release is both a treat and an event. The tunes, all standards, are out-and-out extended jam sessions, but often with a twist. Two ballad medleys have each 'bonist playing individually, with Rosolino tearing up "Here's That Rainy Day," while Fontana chills on "Stardust," then in quite similar melodic parallel lines, Fontana gently strokes "Laura" while Rosolino snuggles up to "Embraceable You." They discourse quite vocally through their brass and slide axes ad infinitum on a 16-plus-minute "Well, You Needn't," predominantly in beautiful unison on the lead melody, run through a stylized but inspired 15 & 1/2-minute take of the loping "All Blues," and draw on counterpointed Dixieland type chattery, clipped, conversational phrases during a 13-minute drill on "Just Friends." The telepathy between the two is remarkable, but the finale, Dizzy Gillespie's "Ow" shows their complete command of harmonics, their ability to play off each other, and their willingness to experiment with the extended sonic timbres of their horns. The sound quality is very good for recordings that have been sitting around since 1978, and the local rhythm section is par for the course, as they allow these two to have center stage and blow. Rosolino and Fontana, who both passed away under-recognized in the general scheme, deliver all one could hope for on this fully realized document of two real geniuses, at work and at play.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/22/2008
Label: Uptown Jazz
UPC: 0026198275228
catalogNumber: 2752
Rank: 139040

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