Today, we celebrate the jazz musicians Miff Mole and Bennie Moten.

It’s not Mole’s birthday, although we are at least in the same month he died, but I like an opportunity for alliteration, as afforded yesterday by Loretta Lynn’s birthday. Also, we have a ‘pick a record’ pre-bedtime dance with the kids, and tonight our young one’s choice was Miff Mole and his Molers.


Which led to some intense interpretive dance manoeuvres, as well as inspiring this post.
The tracks below are late-ish – 1929 – but you can hear Mole’s distinctive trombone style.àembed/fqIn9TUlnHY?rel=0

Next to Miff Mole and His Molers among the jazz on the shelves is another 1920s innovator,  Bennie Moten.


There’s a fantastic looking playlist on YouTube that’s totally unavailable in the UK – boo! BOO!! – so you shall have to make do with these til I get a satisfactory means of ‘archiving’ my own copies.

First, the legendary composition by Moten and Thamon Hayes (his trombonist, coincidentally), South:

Elephant’s Wobble:

The sleeve notes on pretty much all my Moten records single out the ‘irritating’ mute clarinet effects for displeasure, although I think they’re hilarious. Given the rest of the band are doing quite as much fucking about, it seems more a mark of po-faced jazz beard strokery than there being a ‘correct’ way to which Woody Walder was not adhering. Not sure of the significance of the image of the baseball players here, but it’s the best sounding version. The raggediness of the timing on this makes my brain giddy.

Closing with this later entry from 1929…

THAT’S what I’m talking about!