Original Memphis Five

Original Memphis Five

From Wikipedia
Original Memphis Five
Also known as Ladd’s Black Aces
Carolina Cotton Pickers
Genres Jazz
Years active 1917–1990
Labels GennettColumbia
Past members Phil Napoleon
Frank Signorelli
Jimmy Lytell
Miff Mole
Jimmy Durante
Tommy Dorsey
Jimmy Dorsey

The Original Memphis Five was an early jazz quintet founded in 1917 by trumpeter Phil Napoleon and pianist Frank SignorelliJimmy Lytell was a member from 1922 to 1925. The group made many recordings between 1921 and 1931, sometimes under different names, including Ladd’s Black Aces  and Carolina Cotton Pickers. Richard Cook and Brian Morton, writing for The Penguin Guide to Jazz, refer to the group as “one of the key small groups of the ’20s.”

The group formed around 1917.  The name Original Memphis Five was first used in 1920, and applied to various small groups of white musicians throughout the decade.  The Ladd’s Black Aces name was used from 1921 until 1924.  Cook and Morton identify Jimmy Lytell and Miff Mole as standout musicians in the group.  Jimmy Durante played piano with Ladd’s Black Aces, while both Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey were members of the Original Memphis Five. 

Both Red Nichols and Miff Mole later led their own groups named Original Memphis Five.  Phil Napoleon, however, would continue using the group name until 1990.  An example of two of their recordings for Columbia was “Mobile Blues” and “How Come You Do Me Like You Do” on Columbia # 260-D in 1924.


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