John Frigo

Genres: Jazz
Decades Active: 1950s 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

27 December 1916, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 3 July 2007, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Frigo began playing violin while still a small child, taking lessons and quickly becoming proficient. In high school, however, he took up both tuba and string bass and gradually settled on the latter instrument. He played bass with several bands in Chicago in the late 30s, including the Four Californians and then, in 1942, he joined the band led by Chico Marx, one of the four Marx Brothers. With Marx he occasionally played violin and also sang in a vocal quartet as did new arrival Mel Tormé. Also in Marx’s band at this time was Barney Kessel. During World War II Frigo served in the US Coastguard, playing in a band that also included Al Haig and Kai Winding. After the war, Frigo played bass in Jimmy Dorsey’s band where two of his rhythm section colleagues were Herb Ellis and pianist Lou Carter. Together, these three formed the popular instrumental trio, Soft Winds....

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