Mickey Bloom

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This trumpeter, who also made a few recordings on the obscure but attractive-sounding mellophone, was the brother of pianist Rube Bloom. The brothers grew up in New York City at the turn of the 20th century,…
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Artist Biography by

This trumpeter, who also made a few recordings on the obscure but attractive-sounding mellophone, was the brother of pianist Rube Bloom. The brothers grew up in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, with Mickey Bloom blasting away on bugle, then trumpet, all the way through high school. Well, not quite all the way, since he dropped out to go on the road in a revue backing comedian George Jessel. Jettisoned by Jessel, Bloom took root in the musical garden of the St. Louis Five up until 1923, when he became associated with the Georgia Melodians, a move indicating a nose pointing south. Bandleader Irving Aaronson made use of the trumpeter from the following year through 1927, including several European tours.

In the late '20s, Bloom did a great deal of playing in New York City theater orchestras behind bandleaders such as Walt Rosner, Vincent Lopez, and George Olsen. Another bandleader from this period, Hal Kemp, was more of an on-the-road-type guy and took the trumpeter to Florida and Europe. In the '30s the relationship with Kemp continued, but Bloom also began playing with Andre Kostelanetz, one of the pioneers of mood music. Swing seemed to suit Bloom more, and he gravitated toward the Dorsey Brothers and their brand of big-band jazz by 1933, also dabbing dandy doolah backing up one of the most popular crooners, Rudy Vallée. In the late '30s, the trumpeter played with Ray Noble's band but also continued to camp with Kemp.

A period of studio work preceded Bloom's eventual involvement with the U.S. Army and the Second World War; he went back into the studios when peace temporarily broke out and pretty much stayed in the world of session men through the '50s and '60s, including a stint in Hollywood. While his trumpet can no doubt be heard, most often uncredited, on a variety of recordings from this period, including commercials and soundtracks, the serious meat of his discography comes from the '20s and '30s. The world of reissues is fully capable of putting a Bloom on things, featuring the trumpeter in many different settings, for example alongside other great developing trumpet players of the era, including Bunny Berigan and Red Nichols. One combo called the Captivators, which cut sides for Brunswick in the late '20s, combined the trumpeter with his pianist brother as well as historic reed player Larry Binyon. Bloom also dabbled in songwriting, getting a jump on pop psychology with "You're OK," co-written in the early '30s with Mitchell Parish.