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One of the more controversial of the New Orleans revivalist players of the 1960s, Kid Thomas Valentine was hailed by some partisans as one of the great interpreters of "the real jazz" while others could not get beyond his erratic intonation and his occasionally out-of-tune solos. The feeling was there but the technique tended to be uncertain. However, allowances could be made for his advanced age, since Kid Thomas was still playing when he was 91! Valentine (who was often simply known as Kid Thomas) began playing at the age of ten and when he was 14 he joined the Pickwick Brass Band; his professional career would last 77 years. He worked locally until 1922 when he moved to New Orleans, freelancing in a variety of brass and dancehall bands (including his own Algiers Stompers, which he formed in 1926) throughout the next few decades. Valentine first appeared on records in 1951 and he was a regular at Preservation Hall starting in 1961, often playing with George Lewis.
Valentine participated in tours of the North that were organized by Big Bill Bissonnette, and was one of the last original proponents of the pre-Louis Armstrong New Orleans trumpet style. He recorded fairly frequently after 1951 for such labels as American Music, MNO, Center, Mono, 77, Jazzology, Riverside, Jazz Crusade, Music of New Orleans, San Jacinto, Dixie, Jazz Macon Club, La Croix, Storyville, Paragon, Sonet, Smoky Mary, Maison Bourbon, Honky Tonk, Lulu White's Black Label, Picayune, and Maryland Jazzband.