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Adrian Rollini

An American jazz musician.

A multi-instrumentalist best known for his jazz music. He played the bass saxophone, piano, xylophone, and many other instruments.

Rollini is also known for introducing the goofus in jazz music.

He was born in New York and was the eldest of several children. Arthur played tenor saxophone with Benny Goodman from 1934 to 1939, and later with Will Bradley).

Growing up in Larchmont, New York, he showed musical ability early on, and began to take piano lessons on a miniature piano, at the age of two.

At the age of four, he played a fifteen minute recital at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Among the selections played were Chopin's Minute Waltz- he was hailed as a child prodigy and was billed as "Professor Adrian Rollini."

Rollini continued with music and by age 14 he was leading his own group composed of neighborhood boys, in which he doubled on piano and xylophone.

Rollini was equally skilled at piano, drums, xylophone, and bass saxophone, which gained him the respect.

He cut many sides under the California Ramblers and formed two subgroups- The Little Ramblers (starting in 1924) and the Goofus Five (most prominently 1926-1927).

It was during his work with these groups that he developed his distinctive style of saxophone playing.

Some of his best work appears on the sides he cut with Bix Biederbecke (scattered throughout the 1920s, Rollini's great bass sax solos were on scores of records, and were usually outstanding.)

He also recorded and worked with Roger Wolfe Kahn, Frank Trumbauer, and Red Nichols.

His other groups would include the Adrian Rollini Quintette, The Adrian Rollini Trio (primarily late 1930s) and Adrian and his Tap Room Gang which was based in the Hotel President at 234 West 48th Street in New York City.

Rollini could also be found on the radio working with artists like Kate Smith.

He can be seen in a 1938 short entitled "For Auld lang Syne" starring James Cagney, as well as "Himber Harmonics" (1938) where he appears with the trio, and "Melody Masters: Swing Style" (1939).

He died May 15, 1956 at the age of 52.

In 1998, Adrian Rollini was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.

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