[Dixielandjazz] Re: Bass Ale Blues

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Tue Jan 4 22:01:26 PST 2005

Dear Dan,
This reply is later than intended, due to social, family, jazz and other
holiday interruptions here.
Re your "Bass Ale Blues" query.
It was composed in 1925 by Phil Napoleon and Frank Signorelli and recorded
by the Original Memphis Five on 3 occasions.
Like many of these 1920s 'throwaway' record sessions little file information
is available, but discographers have managed to put it together over the
years. The following now appears to be the accepted personnel for the
several dates.

Original Memphis Five.
1.  Recorded on 17 Sept 1925 for Victor with composer credit to
Napoleon-Signorelli-Jackson. I have this on LP and CD.
Phil Napoleon, c/tu; Jimmy Lytell, cl; Miff Mole, tb; Frank Signorelli, p;
Jack Roth, d.   
This version was issued on Jazz Archive CD No. 149. (1595542.)

2.  Recorded for Brunswick on 23 Jan 1926 but actually issued on Vocalion
15234 as by The Hottentots. I have this on LP and CD.
Red Nichols, c; Dick Johnson, cl; Miff Mole, tb; Frank Signorelli, p; Joe
Tarto, tu.  This version was issued on CD. Retrieval RTR79010.
The studio file card indicates 7 men which is confirmed by the fact that
tuba and banjo were included on one title each. There was a drummer on the
date which may be Ray Bauduc. This whole session needs revision in
discographies, because of the varied instrumentation and suspect
identification of personnel. But now is not the time.

3.  Recorded for Pathe/Perfect on 1 March 1926.
Red Nichols, c; Dick Johnson, cl; Miff Mole, tb; Frank Signorelli, p; Ray
Bauduc, d. 
This version is on a new Retrieval CD (79044) which I have ordered, but am
still waiting for. I therefore cannot confirm the personnel or

"Bass Ale Blues" was also recorded by Joe Candullo on 23 Feb 1926 (Harmony
150-H) and 2 Sept 1926 (Edison 51826) but I have never heard these.
None of the issued versions have vocals.
We would need to find the sheet music to see if there are any words.
Kind regards,

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