From the Record Shelves #110

After You’ve Gone

CD Timeless Historical CBC 1-090

During the pandemic Ate Van Delden’s biography of Adrian Rollini made good company, and he is also involved in this CD release with 26 well-preserved tracks from 1924-27. During this period the California Ramblers made more than 600 record sides and on most of them they used the pseudonym of Golden Gate Orchestra. That the present CD is presented under Adrian Rollini’s name is natural because he is dominating the procedures with his bass saxophone whether he is playing solo, taking breaks here and there or if he is part of the rhythm section. His role as musical leader and his command of his instrument gives the band dynamic possibilities that few others could match.

I have chosen to highlight a recording where we hear their personal treatment of a standard tune.

After a “rocking” short intro the trumpet player Chelsea Quealey takes the first chorus with respect for the melody, underpinned by Rollini’s elastic bass rhythm. A partly arranged paraphrase of the verse follows and then Quealey shows off good technique in his solo with a break that could be taken from an exercise book for trumpet.

One of the reed men Bobby Davis or Sam Ruby takes a fluent clarinet solo and the next chorus is shared by whistling and Rollini playing his goofus with pianist Jack Russin taking the middle break. About the whistling; it’s well executed and probably also by Rollini. (If someone wants to sit in with a band whistling it’s not very welcome, but this is good.) The last ensemble is a free for all and Rollini takes an exiting break and also helps make the coda swing.

On the CD there is also a test of the same tune with some small differences in the arrangement but technically inferior in the recording and with the musicians not as much on their toes as in the released version. Rollini’s break is different and that is interesting to note.