Adrian RolliniThe Life and Music of a Jazz Rambler

Adrian RolliniThe Life and Music of a Jazz Rambler

Ate van Delden

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9781496825155

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


Adrian Rollini (1904-1956)was as a child prodigy, playing piano when he was four. This book describes how job opportunities came to him easily at first and that his versatility helped him when they became rare.At the age of 16 he became a professional musician and, in New York, recorded piano rolls. In 1922, at the start of the jazz age, he joined the California Ramblers. He moved to the bass saxophone and gave it its definite place in early jazz. He had no serious competition and was highly appreciated by his colleagues. His style became the instrument's standard and his new sound was one reason why the band became a success. At the top of his fame Rollini became leader of his own band, with a.o. Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer, Eddie Lang, and Joe Venuti. It was star-studded but short-lived. In late 1927, he moved to London to join Fred Eizalde's progressive dance band. A year later he became the band's practical leader. Back in the USA in 1930, Rollini joined Bert Lown's hotel band, but the bass saxophone was phasing out, so he moved to the vibraphone. Bands such as Lown's and, later, Richard Himber's did not satisfy him, and he decided to start a club, Adrian's Tap Room, as well as an instrument shop. He was one of the first to go for a jazz trio, consisting of himself,a guitarist, and a bass player. During the 40s, Rollini added another venture, a fishing lodge in Florida.