Having a most unique approach to playing BeBop on the trombone, Frank Rosolino was able to achieve an original, easily identifiable sound. In addition to effectively using alternate positions, Rosolino developed the ability to change harmonic partials on the trombone very quickly, allowing him to play as fast as a saxophonist. This technique has been called either "lip breaks" or playing "against the grain." In addition to possessing almost unparalleled speed on the slide trombone, Rosolino had a strong upper register and a bright tone. He often played with a fire that became the model for trombonists who wanted to play in this hot, energetic style.
Rosolino's professional career started at the age of 18 while he served in the U.S. Army, performing with the 86th Division Band. After his release he went on to play with Gene Krupa's Bebop-influenced big band from 1948 to 1949, where he performed with them under the stage name Frankie Ross. His most well known job was with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, where he played from 1952 to 1954 as the featured trombone soloist. It was with Kenton that Rosolino gained recognition as a soloist without equal.
Rosolino continued to record with Kenton into 1955, as well as with the Howard Rumsey Lighthouse All Stars. He joined the Terry Gibbs Dream Band in 1959 and performed with that group off and on until 1962. He also performed in Donn Tremmer's House Band on the Steve Allen Show, where he was not only featured as a trombone soloist, but also as a comedian. From 1973 to 1975 Rosolino participated in a number of world tours with Conti Candoli, Quincy Jones, Benny Carter, and the group Supersax.