“You Took Advantage Of Me” – Miff Mole’s Molers (1928)

Okeh; New York, July 27, 1928: Red Nichols-Leo McConville-t/Miff Mole-tb/Dudley Fosdick-mel/Fud Livingston-cl-ts/Arthur Schutt-p/Carl Kress-g/Joe Tarto-b tuba/Stan King-d.


Photo source.

He was never a major soloist. And he never had the opportunity to lead a band of his own. But Joseph Anthony Livingston had one of the coolest nicknames around: Fud.

By the late 1930s Fud would retire completely as a session musician and take up music publishing as his day job. But if you look through enough classic 1920s jazz sides, his name will appear regularly with the likes of Benny Goodman, Paul Whiteman, Red Nichols and Jean Goldkette along with many others.

He also has the honor of having one of his compositions from 1931, “I’m Thru With Love,” sung by Marilyn Monroe in the 1959 film Some Like It Hot.


“That’s No Bargain” – Red Nichols And His Five Pennies (1926)

Brunswick; New York, December 8, 1926: Red Nichols-c/Jimmy Dorsey-cl-as/Arthur Schutt-p/Eddie Lang-g/Vic Berton-d.

A self-composed number by Red Nichols.

A Youtube repost.


Red Nichols playing muted trumpet–Photo source.



“Slippin’ Around” – Red And Miff’s Stompers (1927)

Okeh; New York, October 12, 1927: Red Nichols-c/Miff Mole-tb/Pee Wee Russell-Fud Livingston-cl-ts-a/Lennie Hayton-p/Carl Kress-g/Jack Hanson-bb/Vic Berton-d.

Considered by many to be the finest example of Miff Mole’s signature trombone sound and technique.

Allmusic.com describes Miff Mole’s playing as having “unusual interval jumps with staccato phrasing.” His sound has also been called “urban” and sophisticated; calm and assertive. Regardless of how it’s described, it’s safe to say that Miff’s playing style is magical and distinct and is a style in which allowed for the advancement of the trombone to a lead instrument.

Written by Mole and arranged by bandmate, Fud Livingston.

A Youtube repost:

“I Gotta Have You” – The Midnight Airdales (1929)

Columbia; New York, September 13, 1929: Red Nichols-c-dir/Mickey Bloom, Tommy Thunen-t/Glenn Miller-tb/2 unknown as/Fud Livingston-cl-ts/Henry Whiteman or Maurice Goffin-vn/Rube Bloom-p/Joe Tarto-bb/Gene Krupa-d/Red McKenzie-v.

Originally employed as a Bellhop in St. Louis, Red McKenzie became known in the jazz world for his kazoo and “tissue-comb” techniques. More specifically, he is known for playing said “instruments” and singing with the group he founded, The Mound City Blue Blowers. Here, Red McKenzie takes on the vocals and if you can wait out his singing, the song really kicks in after the 2:20 mark.

A Youtube repost.

“Hurricane” – The Red Heads (1926)

Perfect; New York, September 14, 1926: Red Nichols-c/Miff Mole-tb/Jimmy Dorsey-cl-as/Fred Morrow-as/Arthur Schutt-p/Dick McDonough-g/Vic Berton-d.

A Youtube repost.

Miff Mole!

Man, what a sound. Miff’s trombone run is late in the arrangement (2:32-2:40).

Be sure to link over to an earlier post in which we see Miff Mole muggin’ in front of the camera during a summer rooftop smoke break: http://wp.me/p48bUw-3E

“Loveable And Sweet” – The Charleston Chasers (1929)

Miff Mole on trombone!

The featured 1920s actress in this video is Olive Borden.

Columbia; New York, July 24, 1929: Phil Napoleon-Leo McConville-t/Miff Mole-tb/Pete Pumiglio-cl-as/Arthur Schutt-p/Joe Tarto-sb/Stan King-d.

A Youtube repost.

“Slippin’ Around” – Red And Miff’s Stompers (1927)

Born in the same Long Island hamlet as Chuck D. and Flavor Flav of the hip hop band Public Enemy, but  you won’t see Miff’s name on Wikipedia’s “notable residents” list of who’s-who, Roosevelt, New York.

MIff Mole elevated the trombone’s status to that of the trumpet by adapting a “soloistic approach to the instrument, which was characterized by wide leaps in pitch and clear, rhythmic articulation. This virtuosity prompted Tommy Dorsey to call him ‘the Babe Ruth of the trombone.'” —jazz.com

For comparison/contrast use only. From the French Chronological Classics CD series.

Composed by Miff Mole. Victor 21397-B; October 12, 1927: Red Nichols-t/Miff Mole-tb/Pee Wee Russell-cl/Fud Livingston-ts/Carl Kress-g/Lennie Hayton-p/Jack Hanson-bass brass/Vic Berton-d.