Miff Mole Miff Mole

Irving Milfred Mole, known professionally as Miff Mole was a jazz trombonist and band leader. He is generally considered one of the greatest jazz trombonists and credited with creating “the first distinctive and influential solo jazz trombone style.”

His major recordings included “Slippin' Around”, “Red Hot Mama” in 1924 with Sophie Tucker on vocals, “Miff's Blues”, “There'll Come a Time (Wait and See)”, on the film soundtrack to the 2008 movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Miff Mole was born in Roosevelt, Long Island, New York. He studied violin and piano as a child and switched to trombone when he was 15. He played in Gus Sharp's orchestra for two years and in the 1920s went on to become a significant figure of the New York scene: he was a member of the Original Memphis Five (1922), played with Ross Gorman, Roger Wolfe Kahn, Sam Lanin, Ray Miller and many others. His other activities, like those of many jazz musicians at the time, included working for silent film and radio orchestras. In 1926–29, he and trumpeter Red Nichols led a band called Miff Mole and His Little Molers. They recorded frequently until 1930.

Mole and his band backed Sophie Tucker, who was known as “The Last of the Red Hot Mammas” and who was one of the most popular singers of the 1910s and 1920s. They accompanied her on her 1927 Okeh recordings of “After You've Gone”, “Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong”, “I Ain't Got Nobody”, and “One Sweet Letter from You”. Mole and his band, which included Eddie Lang, Jimmy Dorsey, Red Nichols, and Vic Berton, also accompanied her for live performances.

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February 21, 2020

Miff Mole: Miffology

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