Polo’s father was also a clarinetist, and he learned to play from a young age, working in marching bands from age eight. Claude Thornhill played with Polo as a duo in his youth. In the 1920s, Polo played with Elmer Schoebel (1923), Merritt Brunies, Arnold Johnson, Ben Bernie, Jean Goldkette (1926), and Paul Ash. In 1927 he went with Dave Tough to Europe, where he played with several Continental bandleaders including Bert Firman, Lud Gluskin, George Carhart, Ben Berlin and Arthur Briggs. From 1930-1935 Polo played with Ambrose, then returned to the U.S. in December of that year.
In 1938, Polo returned to Britain to play with Ambrose again, and worked with Ray Ventura in Paris in 1939. Late in 1939 he moved back to the U.S. for good, and spent the early 1940s working with Joe Sullivan, Jack Teagarden (1942, including on Bing Crosby’s film Birth of the Blues), and Claude Thornhill again. He led his own Midwestern territory band for a time, then returned to play with Thornhill once more in 1947. While with Thornhill he became ill, and died rather suddenly in 1949. He recorded two sessions as a leader (which include Alix Combelle), both in Europe, in 1938-39.
Edited by midlifefanclub on 12 Jun 2012, 11:00
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