A Canadian by birth, the woodwind player Alvin Aaron turned out to make one important contribution to jazz: his name would be the first one readers would come across in encyclopedias devoted to this genre, that is if the man wasn't so obscure that many of these volumes don't bother to list him. (He did make Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz, however.) He was born Abe Aaron into a musical family. His father headed up a theater band based out of Milwaukee in the '30s, and was hurting enough for section players to take his son under his wing and teach him clarinet and soprano sax. After working with his dad for some dozen years, Aaron began playing alto sax in the Jack Teagarden band in the early '40s.
In 1943, Aaron took off for Hollywood, where he got on the radio with the Horace Heidt band. From 1945 through 1947, he was in the band of the underfed Skinnay Ennis, then re-joined Heidt through the end of the decade. After this came the saxman's most successful gig on many levels, a decade long stint with Les Brown & His Band of Renown that involved tours to the Far East as well as throughout Europe. The Brown band recorded frequently for labels such as Coral and Capitol. Aaron also showed up playing bass clarinet on a Kapp jazz recording date led by Billy Usselton, one of Aaron's fellow woodwind players in the Brown band. A collection of Sidney Bechet tunes recorded as a tribute by Brown features some of Aaron's best clarinet and soprano sax solos on record.