[Dixielandjazz] While we're speaking of Miff Mole, a question....

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Mon Aug 17 17:21:41 PDT 2009

Hal Vickery wrote:
> I'm betting it that session [Muggsy's Commodore sesion of September  
> 27, 1944].

Dear Hal (and Jack),
I have the Mosaic Commodore boxed set, with its wonderfully  
descriptive booklet notes.
Looking through these just now, there is nothing in the comments  
regarding the Miff and Muggsy 1944 sessions to indicate a grog  
problem. Quite the opposite in fact.
Nor are there any reference to drink problems in Bert Whyatt's 1995  
biography of Muggsy Spanier ('Lonesome Road'. Jazzology Press.]
So, if we are looking at Commodore sessions, there is only one  
23 March 1940. The 'Jam Session at Commodore No. 3' date which  
produced a 4-part rendition of "A Good Man Is Hard To Find".
Four 12" 78 rpm sides on Commodore 1504 and 1505 featuring two front  
Max Kaminsky (t), Joe Marsala (as), Pee Wee Russell (cl) Brad Gowans  
Muggsy Spanier (c), Joe Marsala (cl), Miff Mole (tb) Bud Freeman (ts)
plus Jess Stacy (p) Eddie Condon (g) Sid Weiss (b) George Wettling (d).
According to Commodore's owner/producer, the great Milt Gabler, the  
session was "almost a nightmare."
"The date was called for ten am, the only time I could book the Decca  
studio on West Fifty-sevenths Street. Some of the musicians stayed up  
all the night before so as not to oversleep and miss the early call. A  
few of them came fortified with spirits plus some reserve supplies in  
their instrument cases........... we were in deep trouble, and mostly  
with my dear friend, George Wettling..... Most of the guys were  
They used up 104 12" waxes (52 takes using dual cutting machines) for  
the four complete sides, with no alternates/alternatives. [Sorry Judy  
Eames  8>)
You can hear all four parts on the budget 4CD box set JSPCD 906.
I'm playing it now.
Very kind regards,

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list