Frank Rosolino was one of the greatest jazz trombonists, but he was not given many opportunities to record under his own name, especially in the last 20 years of his life. So this double CD (a reissue of the 1982 LP with 8 additional tracks, making 12 in all) is especially welcome. It caputures Frank in a relaxed club setting in Toronto, Canada in 1976. He is backed by an excellent Canadian trio of Ed Bickert, guitar, Don Thompson, bass, and Terry Clarke, drums. The trio plays behind the trombonist with subtle invention and shading. Bickert's solos and comping are marvellous, as is the interplay between Clarke and Thompson (who recorded the music with excellent sound).
But the star is Rosolino. FR was considered a be-bop trombonist, yet most of the tunes here are standards and range from ballad tempo to mid-tempo. They run from 8 to 14 minutes long, but Rosolino is so melodically inventive that you never lose interest in his improvisations. His tone is so strong and clear throughout the whole range of the horn, and his sustained high register passages are breath-taking. His chops were surely made of steel! 'Round Midnight from Disc 1 and Bluebird (Charlie Parker) from Disc 2 are alone worth the price of the CD. Highly recommended to lovers of jazz trombone and anyone who enjoys highly inventive, melodic improvisation on standard tunes.