Tag Archives: Gene Krupa

78: “You Took Advantage of Me” b/w “Crazy Rhythm” by Miff Mole and His Little Molers. Okeh 41098. Recorded in New York City, 07/27/28.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Irving Milfred Mole, a.k.a Miff Mole, was born in Roosevelt, NY, in 1898. He studied violin and piano as a child but switched to the trombone at the age of fifteen. The early  1920’s were spent playing with bands lead by Gus Sharpe and Jimmy Durante, and later with the Original Memphis Five. In 1923, Miff met cornet player Red Nichols, and they soon realized that they could make better music together than they could as bit players in other people’s bands. For the rest of the Twenties, these two played in each other’s bands, alternating between Miff as leader (Miff Mole and His Little Molers, Sophie Tucker and Miff Mole’s Molers) or Red as leader (Red Nichols and His Red Pennies, The Red Heads, The Charleston Chasers). It often depended on which label they were recording with; all of the Okeh records were under the name of Miff Mole and His Little Molers, or just Miff Mole and His Molers.

On “You Took Advantage of Me,” it isn’t immediately clear why Miff was so influential in the world of jazz trombone. Listen closely at 0:33, though, and you’ll get a hint of the kind of melodic sensibility that most trombonists were not encouraged to express. The coda that the band employs at 3:01 also shows a level of sophistication that was pretty high for its time.

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78: “Makin’ Frien’s” b/w “I’m Sorry I Made You Cry” by Eddie Condon and his Footwarmers. Okeh 41142. Recorded in New York City, October 30, 1928.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Born in 1905 in Indiana but raised in the Chicagoland area, Eddie Condon cut his musical teeth on the ukulele. He soon switched to banjo and had turned pro by the age of sixteen. Guitar, piano and singing were soon added to his repertoire, and it wasn’t long until Condon found himself playing alongside such greats as Jack Teagarden and Bix Beiderbecke.

We hear Jack Teagarden singing and playing trombone on “Makin’ Frien’s,” with Condon providing able support on banjo.

Teagarden was black and Condon was white, and in 1928 it was still pretty unusual to have a “mixed” band. Continue reading

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