From the Record Shelves #114

That’s a Plenty

CD Retrieval RTR 79051

Danny Polo is for me the clarinet player that replaced Don Murray temporarily during an illness and came to play the clarinet solo on Jean Goldkette’s fabulous recording of My Pretty Girl in 1927. On this CD we get to know him better, a top class musician.

Born 1901, of Italian ancestry, Polo was a child prodigy on clarinet and alto sax playing in a marching band already at 8 years of age. He was with Elmer Schoebel at Chicago’s Midway Gardens in 1923 and picked up inspiration from the black musicians on the south side of the town. Before the before mentioned short stint with Goldkette he was employed by Ben Bernie and several other well known band leaders. Then a change in his career took place as he was asked to join an outfit and go to Paris later in 1927.

His virtuosity and his ability to play both jazz and classical music brought him to the attention of successful orchestra leaders in Europe and until 1939 he was busy playing engagements in England, Germany and France. After returning to the states he joined the orchestra of his old friend and musical partner pianist Claude Thornhill.

Later when he had adapted to the modern style of playing he was considered to be involved in a project that Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan planned with Miles Davis in 1949, but unfortunately he died from a bleeding ulcer the same year.

When they at this London session in 1937 go back in time to pick up a number that was not very commonly played in the 30s, we also hear Tommy McQuater on trumpet and a short fine piano solo by Eddie Macauley among the group of British musicians.