[Dixielandjazz] More on Miff Mole

Don Ingle cornet at 1010internet.com
Fri Aug 14 11:28:01 PDT 2009

Stephen G Barbone wrote:
> I was lucky enough to play with him once when he came to sit in with a 
> band where I was a sideman. One night at a club not too far from where 
> he lived on Long Island, about 1956 or so. He was not well, having a 
> hard time moving around, but he played beautifully. Al Winters was our 
> trombonist on that gig and he was just enamored of the way Mole played.
Don Ingle added:
Lucky Steve - to have had a chance to share a stand with Miff Mole. 
Though I never has that opportunity, I was forunate to meet him in 
Chicago on several occasions. He was working in the house band at Jazz 
Ltd. (I later worked in that house band in the '60 for five years.) I 
popped in on  a break from college and was delighted to meet him. When I 
told that I has been a cornet student of Red Nichols, and mentioned that 
Red said there was only one trombonist among many that remained his 
favorite, he warmed up from an early impression that he was rather 
sullen and quiet. He told me many stories of workng with Red in New York 
in the latter 20's when they did anywhere from two to six recording 
calls  a day with a variety of labels and leaders, as well as his own 
Mill Mole and the little Molers, or Five Pennies. Little wonder that so 
many recordings of this seemingly joined-at-the-hip brass duo exists 
(and I suspect that Bill Haesler has most of them.)
Other trombonists of top studio and jazz credentials like Abe Lincoln, 
Pete Beilmann, King Jackson, Bill Rank and others all considered Miff 
the standard of what a jazz trombonist should sound like.
He was never a "forgotten man" in my view, and I considered myself very 
fortunate to have had a chance to meet and talk with him. Luck of time 
and place, perhaps, but my karma has run pretty good over the years.
Indeed, Miff Mole a pretty good standard for any 'bone player to listen 
to and learn from.
Don Ingle

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