From the Record Shelves #71

Tiger Rag

LP Quality Records QRS 1001

I used to think that Sylvester Ahola played trumpet on a record by Frankie Trumbauer called Just an Hour of Love with You, but later I learned that he wasn’t there and never did record with Bix Beiderbecke. Still they played together at the time in Adrian Rollini’s New Yorkers and I guess that they worked well together, with Ahola’s technical facility and reliability complementing Bix’s boundless creativity.

After that the Rollini group unfortunately broke up Sylvester Ahola sailed to London and had a good four years career there, among other things recording hundreds of sides with different groups.

On this Finnish produced LP, Ahola who was born in the US from Finnish parents, appears as an impressive musician. He plays a strong authoritative lead trumpet (like the unknown first trumpet on Just an Hour), however sometimes in his solos he plays more with the fingers than with the brain.

So I’ve chosen a tune by Philip Lewis and his Dance Orchestra from 1929 on which he impresses more by playing flawlessly a complicated arrangement. Furthermore, I enjoy the clarinet solo by Danny Polo, another American with a career in England. There is also good cymbal work by the drummer Max Bacon in a stop chorus.