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Remembering Johnny Frigo

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Jazz fans in Chicago and around the world are mourning the loss of musician Johnny Frigo. 

He was born in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood on the South Side in 1916 and started out as a violinist time before switching to bass. 

On the bass, he toured with big bands led by Chico Marx and Jimmy Dorsey, and in small groups with pianist Al Haig and guitarist Herb Ellis. 

Frigo returned home in 1951 and quickly became the first-call bassist for Chicago's exploding commercial jingle scene. 

It's an unofficial title he held for 35 years. 

Then, in the mid-80's, he returned full-time to the violin, recording and gigging as a leader and a side-man in Jazz joints from Chicago to Europe. 

Green Mill jazz club owner Dave Jemilo said Frigo was like a human jukebox, capable of playing everything from jazz standards to show tunes and more obscure fare. 

Frigo was scheduled to play at festivals this summer in Holland and Italy, until he fell in the lobby of his condo building two weeks ago. 

Johnny Frigo passed away yesterday at the age of 90.

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