One of the greatest strengths of the British creative music scene has been the integration of players from various exotic former Commonwealth nations such as South Africa and Jamaica. Slim recorded documentation may obscure the importance of an individual's real contributions, and this is certainly the case with the charming tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Joe Appleton. He was in his early twenties when he was transplanted to the United Kingdom from his homeland, and began performing in dance bands both there and in various venues around the European continent. By 1934 he was known as part of a group of West Indian jazz players active around London, whose tangy take on things was being featured in groups such as Leslie Thompson's Emperors of Jazz. Appleton fell from this tree into leading his own band in 1937. In the next decade he worked in the combo of Cyril Blake and then began about two years with Leslie Hutchinson. This bandleader, whose stage name was Jiver Hutchinson, made a point of featuring players "of color," no matter what their country of origin. This excellent band allowed Appleton to play with the likes of bassist Coleridge Goode and drummer Clinton Maxwell. One of the best recordings of Appleton was unfortunately in Communist hands for many years, literally, as the fine Rex Stewart LP entitled Muscat Ramble was one of the prize postwar productions of the East European Amiga label, despite the typographical glitch in the album title. The catalog of this label, which fell along with its regime, will be continuously pilfered for reissue, perhaps creating more appreciation for the taste of Appleton in the process. His final years were spent once again leading his own combo in London, and the details of his death are totally mysterious.