The Original Memphis FiveView in iTunes
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Founded in 1917 by trumpeter Phil Napoleon and pianist Frank Signorelli, this excellent New Orleans jazz quintet made a ton of records between 1921-1931, including many under different names (such as Ladd's Black Aces and Carolina Cotton Pickers). Napoleon, trombonist Miff Mole (who in 1922 was succeeded by Charles Panelli), clarinetist Jimmy Lytell, Signorelli, and drummer Jack Roth were regular fixtures in the early days; starting in 1926 the personnel changed fairly frequently with cornetist Red Nichols, drummer Ray Bauduc, Mole, and (during one session apiece in 1928, 1929, and 1931), Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey making appearances. The Original Memphis Five's music was melodic, swinging, and very jazz-oriented. Unfortunately most of their hundreds of recordings have not been reissued on CD yet. ~ Scott Yanow