2009 - Saxophone Quartett Les Boréades with Irina Osetskaya - Dixie

Adrian Rollini was the most influental bass saxophonist of all times. He composed : Dixie and dedicated it to his wife, who had the name Dixie.
He recorded this piece in London, after he made his most celebrated recordings with Bix Beiderbecke. He made this one on January 15. 1928 with Fred Elizalde and his Anglo American band.

The piece Dixie covers the entire "normal" range of the bass saxophone from low Bb till high F. At that early time however, 1928 there was no brand that offered bass saxes with high F, so it means Rollini was playing top tones then.
The factory of Conn was the first to introduce high E and F on its bass saxes in 1929, so after Rollini made this recording. Rollini played conn also by the way. (As does Bert Brandsma who plays his 1940 Ladyface 14M in the movie)

Adrian Francis Rollini (June 28, 1903 - May 15, 1956) was 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.

Rollini was born June 28, 1903 to Ferdinand Rollini and Adele Augenti Rollini. (Some sources will date 1904, but his brother Arthur, as well as social security records will attest to the earlier date.) He was born in New York and was the eldest of several children. (Little brother Arthur played tenor saxophone with Benny Goodman from 1934 to 1939, and was in the famous Carnegy Hall Jazz concert). 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. His interest in music was far greater then his interest in school, and Rollini left high school in his third year. Adrian also cut several piano rolls for QRS, Aeolian, and DeLuxe- these rolls are quite rare and very few of these have survived. He gigged around and finally made his break when he was 16, and began playing in Arthur Hand's California Ramblers. Rollini was equally skilled at piano, drums, xylophone, and bass saxophone, which gained him the respect of Hand, who transferred the band to Rollini when he later retired from the music field.

How Rollini came to play the bass saxophone is somewhat of a mystery. Some argue that the Ramblers' manager, Ed Kirkeby suggested the instrument to Rollini as a possible tuba double. Others say that it was suggested to him by the banjo player, who saw one in a music store. In either case, Adrian, who could tackle just about anything that came his way, would go on to become the star player of the instrument, a true maestro. His brother Arthur recalls in his book "Thirty Years with the Big Bands" that he just came home with it one day and went to work and within two weeks he was recording on it.

Saxophone Quartett Les Boréades with Irina Osetskaya - piano
Recorded during a concert in the Dorpskerk Haren, the Netherlands
March 8. 2009

Irina Osetskaya - piano
Jan Schoemaker - soprano saxophone
Wietze de Vries - alto saxophone
Eduard Heyning - tenor saxophone
Bert Brandsma - bass saxophone

Jan Schoemaker teaches saxophone at Prins Claus conservatory in Groningen.
Wietze de Vries was one of his earliest students there.
Bert Brandsma graduated for classical sax with Jan, later for jazz saxophone as well with Henny Kluvers.

Irina Osetskaya comes from St. Petersburg, Russia and now also teaches at the conservatory in Groningen. She plays often with Les Boréades.

Les Boréades were founded around 1987 by Jacqueline Roek, who played soprano sax for 17 years with the ensemble and then had to stop forced by bad health conditions. Her strong wish was that the group would continue to play so Jan Schoemaker took over the soprano position.
The other 3 gentlemen, Wietze de Vries, Eduard Heyning and Bert Brandsma are original members from the start.
Jacqueline, this one is dedicated to you!