"Hvem er denne Mosiello" concludes the correspondence of a Swedish early recording fanatic writing to a website specializing in vintage 78s, a typical plea for rare recordings by the trumpeter Mike Mosiello. Collectors have their work cut out for them when it comes to this fellow, who was born Alfonso Michele Mosiello in Italy. He is said to have recorded some 1,435 songs in a career that began in the early '20s and involved a wide variety of jazz and dance bands, some of which existed only as names on record labels. Mosiello, who emigrated to the U.S. as a small child, came from a musical family. His uncle Frasso Telesino was both a composer and director of musical bands. At only six years old, Mosiello began making notes on the bugle. This turned out to be good preparation for the onset of the first World War, in which Mosiello enlisted as a Marine, was stationed in Europe, and began playing in the military band. His recording career began about three years after the end of the war, with a 1921 recording session for Victor with the orchestra of Nat Shilkret. At this point, it apparently did not take him long to reach the status as one of the most in-demand trumpet soloists on the New York scene, and he succeeded in earning some 800 dollars a week, an exceptional figure for a musician in the '20s and probably more than twice what most musicians made playing in New York during any given week of 2002. Mosiello worked with artists such as Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Fats Waller, Ukulele Ike, Ben Selvin, and Xavier Cugat. Some of the groups he worked with backed up artists whose work bordered on cowboy music or primitive country & western, such as Carson Robinson and Vernon Dalhart. The names of outfits such as the Arkansas Travelers and the Virginians might suggest bluegrass or old-time bands, but in reality these were big bands with horns whose music is hard to pigeonhole, although it is usually labeled early swing jazz of some sort. The original compositions of Mosiello include Sweet and Hot, cut in 1929 for Brunswick with the orchestra of Bob Effros. The multi-instrumentalist Andy Sanella was one of Mosiello's most regular sidekicks. While some listeners think the expression "dime store dance" was used to describe females who worked by day in stores socialized for pay with customers at dance halls by night, in reality these were low-budget records created by Mosiello, Sanella, and their cohorts to be sold at Woolworth's for a dime apiece. Very often the same band would record under multiple names. For example, Mosiello might have recorded with one group of musicians in the morning, then the same group would be back in the studio recording different songs under a different director and different band name as well. All this has made life difficult for the collector attempting to amass a complete Mosiello collection, the acquisition of a rare item sometimes ruined by a surface noise to music ratio sadly described as equal, if not worse. In the '30s, Mosiello suffered greatly from the events of the depression, including being hit with a series of investment losses. The situation for the family became even worse in 1934 when Mosiello's daughter began suffering from serous health problems. For work Mosiello spent a good part of the '40s in the orchestra of the Roxie Theatre before heading to the west coast to begin working in movie studio recordings. In the early '50s, he developed cancer of the pancreas, and is said to have played the bugle for the last time at his daughter's wedding the year before he died. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi

Mike Mosiello and His Hot Peppers 1928
Mike Mosiello & His Hot Peppers "Jelly Beans" Radiex 1480 (1920s flapper music)
In a Wishing Land with You - Mike Mosiello & His Hot Peppers - 1927 Jazz Grey Gull Record
Venetian Love Call - Mike Mosiello and his Radio Stars Radiex records #926 1930
You Wouldn't Fool Me, Would You? - Annette Hanshaw (Mike Mosiello, Rube Bloom, Joe Tarto)
Sleepy Valley - Mike Mosiello and his Radio Stars Grey Gull Records #1741
Universal Dance Orchestra Pepper Blues
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