[Dixielandjazz] Miff Mole

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Sat Aug 15 18:09:43 PDT 2009

My mate Jack Mitchell wrote:
> The accepted wisdom is that Miff Mole was the first "innovative"  
> trombonist. I ain't gonna argue with that, but don't overlook the  
> fact that his solo on TIN ROOF BLUES (October 4, 1923) is a copy of  
> George Brunis' solo recorded March 13, 1923.

Dear Jack,
No reflection on Miff Mole for that.
The New Orleans Rhythm Kings version of "Tin Roof Blues" with George  
Brunies (13 March 192) was certainly the original and, thanks to the  
Melrose Brothers music publishing house and Gennett, it be came a hit.
The tune was originally called "Rusty Rail Blues", but changed and  
named after the Tin Roof Café in New Orleans, as Walter Melrose wanted  
a New Orleans' down-home title.
The popular 'cover' versions recorded during the 1920s are:
Raderman's Jazz Orchestra (May 1923). *I do not have this.
Edna Hicks with vocal/piano accomp. (18 August 1923)
Original Memphis Five - with Miff Mole (4 Oct 1923)
Young's Creole Jazz Band (Oct 1923)
Original Indiana Five (6 November 1923)
New Orleans Jazz Band (12 Feb 1924)
California Ramblers [as Golden Gate Syncopators] (2 April 1924). *I do  
not have this.
Jelly Roll Morton - piano solo (June-July 1924)
Ted Lewis - featuring George Brunies (22 June 1925)
King Oliver's Dixie Syncopators (11 June 1928)
Midnight Serenaders (August 1928)
I have all the above except the two noted* and (except for Edna Hicks,  
Jelly Roll Morton and the Midnight Serenaders) they all include a  
close variation of the now 'traditional' George Brunies' trombone solo.
To put it into perspective, Mole was born in March 1898, Brunies in  
Feb 1900.
Mole lived in New York and Brunies in New Orleans and Chicago. They  
would not have met until much later.
Steve Barbone said "Perhaps he admired what Brunis did."
With respect Steve, I doubt he would have so early, on the basis of  
Brunies playing at that time.
Compare the 1923 George with the NORK to the accomplished Miff on the  
Cotton Pickers' "Hot Lips" in July 1922, courtesy of the Red Hot Jazz  
Song site:
My mate Don Ingle was also spot on. Yes Don, I do have most of Miff  
Mole's recordings tucked away here in my little office down-under. And  
I listen to them regularly, from the first up to the last I have from  
1957 (Jazzology JCD-5 'The Immortal Miff Mole').
None of this is put the great George Brunies down, another jazz hero  
of mine.
Very kind regards,
PS: Let's keep "Tin Roof Blues"/"Jazzin' Babies Blues" (mentioned off  
list) for another thread.

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