Adrian Rollini

June 28, 1904 - May 15, 1956

Brother of Authur. A child prodigy on piano; at four, he gave a Chopin recital at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York. At 14 led own band in New York, doubling piano and xylophone. Worked with the California Ramblers in early 1920's, whilst with this band bought his first bass sax and within a fortnight was playing it in public. Specialised on bass sax for several years. To London in December 1927 to join Fred Elizalde at the Savoy Hotel, other than two brief vacations in the USA (spring 1928 and winter 1928) he remained in London until December 1929. Returned to New York, joined Bert Lown's Orchestra and remained until spring 1931. Short spell playing in a re-formed California Ramblers in 1931, then mostly active on free-lance recording sessions (throughout the 1920's and early 1930's he participated in countless pick-up recording groups, mostly on bass sax, sometimes on hot fountain pen. In 1935 organised own club, 'Adrian's Tap Room' at the Hotel President, New York, from this time onwards specialised on vibraphone, but did some recordings on piano and drums. Doubled with Richard Himber's Orchestra in mid-1930s, but continued to lead own small groups for long residencies at various hotels including: Piccadilly (New York), Park Sheraton (New York) and Blackstone (Chicago). Continued to lead own trio throughout the 1940s, then in the early 1950s moved to Florida where he opened his own hotel, The Driftwood Lodge (in Tavernier). Continued to play various residencies in Miami, last worked at the Eden Roc Hotel in September 1955. Died of pneumonia and complications following a liver ailment. (from Who's Who of Jazz Storyville to Swing Street - by John Chilton)

Photo courtesy Joseph Alden "Josh" Rushton

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