Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Dave McKenna born 31 May 1930

Dave McKenna (30 May 1930 – 18 October 2008, Woonsocket, Rhode Island) was an American jazz pianist. Known primarily as a solo pianist and for his distinctive "three-handed" swing style, he was a significant figure in the evolution of jazz piano.
Although he was constantly showered with compliments, the jazz pianist Dave McKenna tended to shrug off praise, saying: "I [only] play saloon piano - I just like to tool along and keep close to the melody." Others knew better, rating him among the best swing pianists of his generation, with a distinctive touch and a gift for uplifting rhythmic momentum. Tall, well-built and rangy, with big hands, McKenna liked to create elaborate improvisations on old standards, marked by rumbling, crab-like left-hand patterns and clever harmonic choices, but always with a driving undertow. The New Yorker critic Whitney Balliett called him "one of the hardest swinging pianists of all time".
Described as "the quiet man of the keyboard" because of his humility and affable, if laid-back, character, McKenna could give the impression he was reluctant to step into the limelight, often saying he would prefer to be at home watching his beloved Boston Red Sox baseball team on the television. Although schooled in the jazz combos and big bands of his youth, McKenna was, by nature and inclination, a solo performer and built a reputation as a player who mostly preferred his own musical company, once saying: "It's easier to get a gig that way."
McKenna was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, where his father drove a parcel-post truck and played drums as a hobby; his mother, Catherine, was an excellent pianist and violinist. Two sisters became singers. Although largely self-taught and self-confessedly a poor reader, McKenna did receive a few months of instruction from a local classical tutor. "The lessons I had didn't take too well," he told Jones. McKenna's main source of instruction came from listening to the radio and to recordings by favourites such as Nat King Cole and Teddy Wilson. This evidently paid off; at the age of only 12, he began to play for local weddings and dances.
After joining the musicians' union when he was 15, McKenna worked around Boston with a group led by star altoist Boots Mussulli, before leaving home in 1949 with Mussulli to join tenor-saxophonist Charlie Ventura's ensemble, with whom he made his first recordings. He moved on to Woody Herman's big band in 1950 for a year, playing alongside other new stars such as trumpeters Conte Candoli and Neal Hefti. He confessed to Balliett: "I was a disgraceful, drunken kid and Woody should have fired me. But the army solved that." The US Army may have straightened him out personally, but it did little to assist his musical aspirations, posting him to Korea as a cook for 18 months.
His service done, McKenna rejoined Ventura in 1953 and then worked his way through a series of groups fronted by the best tenor-saxophonists of the day, including Zoot Sims, Al Cohn and the steely Stan Getz. He took time out to tour with drum star Gene Krupa's quartet and with Buddy Rich in 1960.
                 Here's "Limehouse Blues" from above album.  
Never a modernist, McKenna later chose to play more traditional music with trumpeter Bobby Hackett and with guitarist Eddie Condon at Condon's New York club. It was Hackett, a New Englander, who inspired McKenna to move his family to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in 1967, after years of living in New York hotels and rackety apartments.
Still happy to play jazz festivals and to make short tours, including a well-received first visit to Britain with Wilber in 1978, McKenna settled into a life of solo residencies and was often cited as "one of New England's best-kept secrets". His base for nine years was the Plaza Bar in Boston's posh Copley Plaza hotel. Even so, discerning critics (and record companies) knew his worth, and he recorded for (and sometimes toured with) the Concord Jazz All-Stars and groups led by Herman or cornettist Ruby Braff, before making his way back to his safe haven, the piano bars of New England.
Dave with Tony Bennett
For a man who "didn't have any particular ambition", McKenna's recorded legacy is substantial, running to well over 50 albums, many on the Concord label, covering solo, duo, trio and quartet sessions, as well as all-star line-ups fronted by Braff, Hackett, Herman and tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton.
Life was pleasant for a few years for Dave, but then illness forced him into retirement. He first moved to Providence to be closer to the hospitals, and for the last year of his life, he moved to State College, Pennsylvania to be close to his son Stephen.

Dave McKenna died from lung cancer on October 18, 2008; his wife, who had moved back to North Carolina, passed away only three months later on January 28, 2009.
 (Info edited mainly from obit by Peter Vacher for the Guardian)
Here’s a video filmed for the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild; Pittsburgh, Nov 13th, 1995.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Clora Bryant born 30 May 1927

Clora Bryant (born May 30, 1927, in Denison, Texas) is an American jazz trumpeter who remains a sadly under-recognized musical pioneer. The lone female trumpeter to collaborate with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, played a critical role in carving a place for women instrumentalists in the male-dominated world of jazz, over the course of her decades-long career proving herself not merely a novelty but a truly gifted player regardless of gender.
Born May 30, 1927, in Denison, TX, Bryant grew up with jazz and music. She recalls that her earliest experience with music was at as age five when she and her brother, Mel Bryant, were taught the piano. At her local church, she sang in the children's choir, and with a radio she often listened to the jazz of the time like Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Andy Kirk, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie. Her older brother, Fred Bryant, had played the trumpet until he was drafted into service for World War II in 1941.
With her brother leaving behind his trumpet, she learned the chords of a trumpet from her uncle. By the time she went to high school, she had joined her school band and was focused on music. She proved so proficient that she won music scholarships to Bennett
College and Oberlin, instead opting to attend the Houston-area Prairie View College, joining its all-female swing band, the Prairie View Coeds.
The group toured across Texas, in the summer of 1944 mounting a series of national dates that culminated at New York City's legendary Apollo Theater. Although one of the band's lead soloists, Bryant nevertheless transferred to UCLA in late 1945 after her father landed a job in Los Angeles; there she first encountered the fledgling bebop sound, and began jamming with a series of small groups in the Central Avenue area.
In the summer of 1946 Bryant joined the all-female Sweethearts of Rhythm, earning her union card and quitting school soon after. Around this time she befriended Gillespie, who not only offered her opportunities to perform with his band but also served as Bryant's mentor for the remainder of his life. When the Queens of Swing lost their drummer, Bryant rented a drum kit and won the job, touring with the group until 1951, at which time she returned to L.A. and to the trumpet, backing Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker during their respective performances at the Club Alabam. She relocated to New York City in 1953, gigging at the Metropole and appearing on several television variety shows.

              Here's "This Can't Be Love" from above album.
 She even toured Canada, but ultimately returned to southern California in 1955, two years later cutting her sole headlining LP, Gal With a Horn, issued on the tiny Mode label. Bryant spent the remainder of the decade on the road, with long engagements at clubs in Canada, Chicago, and Denver. She also played Las Vegas opposite Louis Armstrong and Harry James. While performing with James, Bryant caught the attention of singer Billy Williams, joining his touring revue and backing him during a showcase on The Ed Sullivan Show. In 1960, she also appeared in the Sammy Davis, Jr. motion picture Pepe.
After quitting Williams' band in 1962, Bryant again returned to Los Angeles, teaming with vocalist brother Mel to put together a song-and-dance act. The duo toured the globe for well over a decade, even hosting their own television show during a lengthy engagement in Melbourne, Australia. In the late '70s, Bryant replaced the late Blue Mitchell in Bill Berry's big band, but after several years out of sight she made international headlines in 1989 after accepting Soviet leader

Mikhail Gorbachev's invitation to play five dates in the U.S.S.R., becoming the first female jazz musician to tour the Communist nation.
A 1996 heart attack and subsequent quadruple bypass surgery rendered Bryant unable to continue her career as a trumpeter, but she continued to sing, at the same time beginning a new career on the lecture circuit, discussing the history of jazz on college campuses across the U.S. Honored by Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with its 2002 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival Award, Bryant was again celebrated with the 2004 release of Trumpetistically, a documentary profile that took filmmaker Zeinabu Irene Davis some 17 years to complete. (Info edited mainly from All Music and a tad from Wikipedia) 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Jackie Lee born 29 May 1936

Jackie Lee (born Jacqueline Norah Flood, 29 May 1936, Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland) is an Irish popular music singer, who has recorded under various names.
Lee was a musical child prodigy. She won a scholarship and trained as a soprano for four years. Upon finishing her studies she became a vocalist with the top show-bands playing prestigious Irish venues.

Lee experienced similar success when she moved to London and joined the popular dance band The Squadronaires. In 1955 her first solo record was released, followed by a further two the next year. On Sunday 26th May 1956, Jackie appeared as a solo singer on ATV's 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium' with Max Bygraves, whom she had previously met on a BBC radio programme.  

Jackie gained further experience performing in Cyprus, Tripoli and Germany for the British Forces, along with Ronnie Hilton. By this time Jackie had met a gentleman in a Tin Pan Alley office who was to have a decisive influence on much of her career, and also her personal life.  Len Beadle became not only Jackie's manager, but also her husband.  Towards the end of the decade, under Len's guidance, Jackie moved away from dance-bands to concentrate on building a recording career.   

 From 1959 to 1964, Lee was a member of The Raindrops,(with husband Len Beadle, Vince Hilland and Johnny Worth) a successful quartet who made countless appearances on British TV and variety shows, had a BBC Radio show and released a string of records, the majority of which had Lee as lead vocalist. The Raindrops recorded their debut single Along came Jones  for Parlophone (EMI) and developed their close harmony sound through a series of 45s for Oriole which included UK versions of the American Billboard hits Will you love me tomorrow (originally by the Shirelles), A letter from Anne (the Videls), Party lights (Claudine Clark), and The locomotion (Little Eva).  

In 1962, she entered the UK heats of the Eurovision Song Contest as a solo act with "There's No-one in the Whole Wide World" and performed it at the British national finals for BBC TV. This number was later covered and performed by The Beatles in concerts during this period. Lee decided to become a solo artist in 1965 and recorded 'beat' records until 1967. One of these releases, "Just Like a Man", reached the NME chart. The B-side; "I Gotta Be With You", were in the Northern soul idiom. Lee recorded this single under the name of 'Emma Reade' for EMI. 

Lee also had an alternative career as a respected session singer, through her groups The Jackie Lee Singers and Tears of Joy. She provided the backing vocals for such global number ones as "Green Green Grass of Home" by Tom Jones and "Release Me" by Englebert Humperdink. She demonstrated her unique vocal range, ability and versatility on such diverse recordings as "Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix; and much of the James Last catalogue at the time. At one point Elton John was employed by Lee, as a member of her session singers. In addition she also sang various songs for film soundtracks. Among them "Born To Lose" from the film Robbery (1967), "Love Is Now" from the Norman J. Warren film Loving Feeling (1969), and the title song to the horror film Goodbye Gemini (1970).

In 1968, as 'Jacky', she had a UK Top Ten hit single with "White Horses", the theme from a Children's TV programme. In 2003, her definitive version was voted the best TV theme tune of all time by The Penguin Television Companion. Her jazz-styled album of the same name was also released in 1968, which included contributions from Dudley Moore as pianist.  

By 1970, 'Jacky' reverted to 'Jackie Lee' and had another hit record; "Rupert" from the TV show based on the famous cartoon character, Rupert Bear (inaccurately referred to as "Rupert the Bear" in the song's lyrics). This recording also had a place in the "Best TV themes of all time" list from The Penguin Television Companion at Number 7, thus consolidating Lee's reputation. A tie-in album, "Jackie's Junior Choice", was released on Pye Records (PKL 5503) in 1971, followed by the similar, "Rupert and Other Junior Favourites" on Pye's budget Golden Guinea label (GSGL 10492) in 1973, which also included Jackie's recording of another children's series, "Inigo Pipkin".

It was shortly after this that she prematurely retired owing to vocal complications and throat trouble. With her musical career never having reached the heights it deserved, Jackie sadly bade farewell to the music industry in 1973.  She later moved to the United States, and subsequently Canada, where she now lives, happily married, far away from the world of entertainment. (Info edited from Wikipedia &

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Gary Stewart born 28 May 1944

Gary Ronnie Stewart (May 28, 1944 – December 16, 2003) was a country musician and songwriter known for his distinctive vibrato voice and his southern rock influenced, outlaw country sound. During the peak of his popularity in the mid-1970s, Time magazine described him as the "King of the Honky Tonks.” He is remembered for a series of country chart hits from the mid- to late- 1970s.
While much of what passes for contemporary country music in the '90s and 2000s sounds like reheated Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd, what's really annoying is what a youth-driven market it has become, leaving many great country performers of the '60s and '70s out in the cold. This is especially irritating when considering the career of Gary Stewart, one of the greatest of the hardcore-honky tonk school who, at his peak in the mid- to late '70s, could write and sing circles around just about any contemporary country star you could mention.
A native of Florida, Stewart escaped a lifetime of working in an airplane factory in the late '60s by pitching some songs he'd written to soon-to-be RCA country label honcho Jerry Bradley. At the time, Stewart (who was composing with his friend Bill Eldridge) didn't aspire to more than being an in-demand Nashville songwriter, but after a couple of years writing with some success, and through Bradley's continued intercession, he was given the opportunity to record on his own. With his huge, vibrato-laden tenor voice (which sounds a bit like Jerry Lee Lewis'), Stewart, with the inestimable help of songwriter Wayne Carson, released 1975's Out of Hand, one of the finest honky tonk records of all time. Paced by the hit "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)," Gary Stewart was quickly becoming a country music star.
Although he composed songs for traditional Grand Ole Opry stars (Cal Smith, Hank Snow), Stewart himself never emulated the traditional values espoused by the Nashville establishment; as one of his song titles stated, he was more of a "flat natural-born good-timin' man." He hung out (and caroused plenty) with Southern rock musicians, using them on his albums at a time when this was still considered radical. He was a renegade, unwilling to play the Nashville game and his increasing success provided him with the autonomy he needed to do his own thing. However, this generally meant conspicuous excess, especially when it came to substance abuse.
Still, from 1975 through 1980, Stewart's recorded work is mostly excellent, with a conspicuous high point coming in 1977 with the release of Your Place or Mine. A hard-driving slice of aggressive honky tonk, it was a rollickingly good piece of work, not the equal to Out Of Hand, but as important an assertion of Stewart's independence from the machinations of country music's star-making machinery. There were problems, however: Stewart was too country for rock audiences and too rock for country audiences and that limited any stab at broader appeal.
In 1980, he released Cactus and a Rose, with considerable help from Southern rock vets Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Mike Lawler, and Bonnie Bramlett. It was a fine record, but attracted only Stewart's core audience, and at this point in his career, that simply wasn't enough. Suddenly it seemed as if his desire and creativity vanished. He hooked up with Dean Dillon and made a couple of terrible two-good-ol'-boy records that made the redneck rowdiness of Hank Williams, Jr. sound philosophical by comparison. Not long afterwards, Stewart returned to Florida and stopped recording.
After his alcoholism and drug use pretty much cancelled out a large part of the '80s, Stewart returned, clean and sober, with a strong comeback record, Brand New, in 1988. It wasn't the Gary Stewart of old, but it was a respectable record, and it was enough to propel a comeback that continued with I'm a Texan. Stewart released the first live album of his career in 2003 with Live at Billy Bob's Texas, an album that proved that despite his low profile he was still a formidable honky tonker.
On November 26, 2003, the day before Thanksgiving, his wife of nearly 43 years, Mary Lou, died of pneumonia. Stewart, who had been scheduled to play Billy Bob's three days later, canceled his concert appearances. His friends later told reporters that he was extremely despondent after Mary Lou's death. On December 16, his daughter's boyfriend and Stewart's very close friend, Bill Hardman, visited his Fort Pierce, Florida, home to check on his welfare. They found Stewart dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the neck.
His heyday was in the '70s, but Gary Stewart deserved to be celebrated for his considerable talent, tenacity, and influence. (Info mainly All Music)

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Diz Disley born 27 May 1931

William Charles "Diz" Disley (27 May 1931 – 22 March 2010) was an Anglo-Canadian jazz guitarist, entertainer, and graphic designer. At various times he was a banjoist in traditional jazz bands, a cartoonist for Melody Maker, various national newspapers and on record sleeves, a guitarist of the Django Reinhardt school, and the moving force behind the revival of Stéphane Grappelli's career in the 1970s.
William Charles Disley was born in Winnipeg on May 27 1931 and brought to Britain at the age of four. He became keen on jazz while studying at Leeds College of Art and took up the banjo, playing with the Rotherham Jazz Hounds and other local bands. In 1949 he joined the Yorkshire Jazz Band, the most prominent revivalist band in the area.
Following National Service, he settled in London in 1953 and joined a series of professional bands, including that of Mick Mulligan, whose vocalist, George Melly, recalled the bearded Disley as having "the face of a satyr on his way to a cheerful orgy". During this period he began producing caricatures of his fellow musicians and cartoons which appeared regularly in the Melody Maker and on a variety of LP covers.
In the middle Fifties he played for bandleaders Ken Colyer, Cy Laurie and Sandy Brown. Having discovered the music of Django Reinhardt, Disley dropped the banjo in favour of the guitar, on which he developed an impressive technique. He formed a band, the Soho String Quintet, in imitation of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, which had been co-led by Reinhardt and Grappelli in the 1930s. Disley moved easily into the realms of folk clubs and skiffle music and worked in 1957 with Nancy Whiskey and Bob Cort. He worked occasionally for the BBC, presenting both jazz and pop programmes.
Despite his undoubted achievements in the fields of guitar-playing, band-leading and cartooning, Disley always gave the impression of being on his uppers. Melly observed that he had "a built-in anti-success mechanism", and he certainly had a talent for self-sabotage. He was forever missing appointments, and money seemed to melt away in his hands.

The turn into the Sixties saw him working with bands led by Kenny Ball, Alex Welsh and Dick Charlesworth and he became in demand in the now popular folk clubs. With trad music still thriving, he played in 1962 for Chris Barber and Acker Bilk and toured the Far East with pianist Johnny Parker and singer Beryl Bryden in 1963.

A budding career as a jazz radio presenter was cut short when he was briefly imprisoned for non-payment of bills. In addition, he was afflicted with extreme wanderlust. He would regularly drop everything to join a band in Germany, Denmark or some Middle Eastern outpost.
        Here's "Love Come Back To Me " from above album. 

In 1973 Disley met Grappelli, then aged 65, whose career was not flourishing, and arranged for him to appear at the Cambridge Folk Festival, accompanied by a re-formed Hot Club band, led by Disley himself. The show was a triumph and relaunched Grappelli on the world stage. For the next 10 years, with interruptions, he and Disley toured the world four times, appearing at major venues,
including Carnegie Hall, New York.
In the early 1980s Disley formed a working partnership with the young gipsy guitarist Birelli Lagrene, with whom he again toured the world, and made a return visit to Carnegie Hall. Thereafter he resumed his wanderings. He lived in Spain for some years, opening a jazz club in Almeria in 1988.
Diz with Ray Campi
Returning to Britain in the 1990s he toured regularly with Dick Laurie's Elastic Band, toured with Johnny Silvo in 2001 and continued to lead his quintet. He free-lanced in Europe and spent several years in Los Angeles where he recorded with the blues saxophonist Big Jay McNeely and country-rockabilly artist Ray Campi. He also painted several now sought-after portraits of jazz greats, including Illinois Jacquet, in the style of the cubists.
In his final years of playing he used a cheap and inferior guitar that he coupled to an amplifier left here many years ago by the American guitarist Al Casey. The BBC had paid national insurance on Disley's behalf during the comparatively brief period he had worked for it. But otherwise the guitarist had made no provision for his old age and when he became ill in his last years he was impoverished and penniless. He spent the last two years in a home for old people and early during 2010 Disley's health took a serious turn for the worse, and he was admitted to the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, on 2 February. He died on 21 March 2010.
(Info edited from The Telegraph & Independent obits)

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Pha Terrell born 25 May 1910

Elmer "Pha" Terrell (May 25, 1910 in Kansas City, Missouri - October 14, 1945 in Los Angeles) was an American jazz singer with a smooth, mellow baritone, but was also capable of singing in falsetto, a popular feature among the singers of the time.
Pha Terrell, (pronounced Fay) sometimes known to his friends as Elmer, was discovered by Kirk in the early '30s while toiling as a combination of dancer, singer, and semi-hustler at a Kansas City club. Terrell sang with the Kirk band between 1933 and 1941.
Available recordings by this singer can basically be evenly split between Kirk collections and various compilations based on themes such as early R&B and the Kansas City scene. His biggest hit with the Kirk outfit was the patient "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" in 1936. and 1938's "I Won't Tell a Soul (I Love You)".

In addition to his first number one hit in 1936, was the song "All the Jive Is Gone" from 1937, this was probably Terrell's best performance. Willfried Wald spoke critically about the high tenors of the Swingara, such as Dan Grissom and Pha Terrell, "who replaced the influences of blues and jazz with something that sounded like a hiss with an open mouth, and on the genuine, but not at all, unpleasant tradition of black falset singing ".  A follower of Terrell's singing style was the young Earl Coleman.

The character of Andy Kirk’s Clouds of Joy would change in the 40’s when Mary Lou Williams left, followed by the departure of Pha Terrell. He headed for Indianapolis, at that time a thriving jazz centre. He worked there in Clarence Love's Orchestra, often tying knots in whatever strings of one-nighters were available to this type of territory band. Like just about any stand-up singer, Terrell eventually decided to go it alone, a career move that in his case he made out on the West Coast. A kidney ailment took him down when he was just getting started. And he died of kidney failure in Los Angeles,1945.

(There is very scant info on the web. This bio mainly edited from All Music & Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Sylvester Ahola born 24 May 1902

Sylvester Ahola (May 24, 1902 – February 13, 1995) was a classic jazz trumpeter and cornetist born in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He became most popular in England rather than the United State. He has played the trumpet on 2,000 records and been part of fifty orchestras and jazz bands.
Sylvester was one of the great musicians during a unique period in American musical culture-from the growth of jazz through the Depression to the development of commercial radio. After a classical training, Ahola's prolific recording career among the top bands of the age, in both America and England, was a tribute to the skill and mastery of his chosen instrument. His career as a first-rate studio musician found him equally at ease with classical trumpet solos, light orchestral music, popular dance band tunes, and in groups accompanying such great singers as Paul Robeson and Sophie Tucker.
He was also responsible, in no small way, for establishing a style of "hot" jazz-flavored playing among emerging British dance bands. His, however, is a story of anonymity.
He was known as "Hooley," came from a Finnish family, and began playing drums at the ripe age of six, graduating to blowing cornet and trumpet a few years later. He would continue doubling on the two horns throughout his career, becoming known for a vivid soloing style that put him in the same technical league as much more famous trumpeters, such as his two main models, Bix Beiderbecke and Red Nichols.
Ahola cut his first recordings under the auspices of bandleader Frank E. Ward in 1924, but these tracks were never released commercially. The trumpeter then joined Paul Specht's Orchestra in the outset of 1926, staying in this group a year before joining the Ed Kirkeby band. Ahola then made his earliest recordings of any renown with the California Ramblers. From there, he stayed with Peter Van Steeden's orchestra until late 1927 when he was hired to sail to England and play with the Savoy Orpheans.
This may not have been a job with a bearded lifespan, but the accomplished Ahola had no trouble finding trumpet-blowing gigs all around London. His talents included the ability to lead a horn section as well as blow good solos. Ahola was heard in the Jack Harris band before picking up a somewhat more high-profile trumpet seat in the Ambrose Orchestra in late 1928. Throughout the late '20s he was frequently working in recording studios, cutting sides with the studio bands at labels such as Zonophone, where he worked with the conducting brothers Bert and John Firman. He also collaborated with music director Arthur Lally at Decca sessions. He remained with Ambrose into the summer of 1931 in a job that, like the various studio bands, featured a mixture of British, European, and American players. 
 The same players overlapped on a half-dozen band busses. Americans such as guitarist Joe Brannelly and reed player Perley Breed joined up with Ambrose at the same time as the British jazzman Ted Heath. Also in 1928, Ahola was playing with Reg Batten & His New Savoy Orpheans with Irving Brodsky on piano. In 1929, Ahola was featured with Ray Noble & His Orchestra in the trumpet feature "Copper Blues," one of the only forms of copper that doesn't leave a bad taste in the mouth.
In 1931, the trumpeter showed up back in the United States in order to play with Van Steeden once again. A few recording sessions with Ed Kirkeby in the early '30s represent his last brass words recorded for posterity, an Ahola that pretty much means aloha. He joined the NBC staff orchestra along with colleague Jacques Renard and continued with this type of work until retiring in 1940.
At this point he returned to his home town on the New England seaside, becoming so closely associated with the town that he became known as the "Gloucester Gabriel." He played both trumpet and percussion with the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra in his final years. Aloha's best recordings include the tracks "So Does Your Old Mandarin," a frightening pun, and "Crazy World, Crazy Tune," an inevitable conclusion. The second of two Rhythmic Eight reissues on the Mello label has a whopping portion of top-form Ahola, fine examples of the trumpeter's work in tandem with arranger Lally. A biography of Ahola was published as part of the Studies in Jazz at the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers State University.
Ahola died  February 13, 1995 in Lanesville, Essex County, Massachusetts.
 (Info mainly All Music also intro to Dick Hills autobiography -The Gloucester Gabriel (Studies in Jazz)