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Christie Brothers Stompers

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Although now somewhat obscure, the Christie Brothers Stompers were one of the most influential British New Orleans-style jazz bands of the early '50s, recording several years before England's trad boom. In 1951, a group of musicians from the Crane River and Humphrey Lyttelton Bands recorded under the Christie Brothers name for Esquire, and the popularity of the records led to trombonist Keith Christie and clarinetist Ian Christie deciding to launch a regular group of their own with, at first, Ken Colyer on cornet (in 1952 trumpeter Dick Hawdon took his place) and a rhythm section that included pianist Pat Hawes. Their recordings for Melodisc (dating from August 1951 to August 1953) have been reissued on a British Cadillac CD and display the enthusiasm and power of the fine band. Influenced the most by the Kid Ory and Bunk Johnson groups, but also open to aspects of King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, and Louis Armstrong, the Christie Brothers Stompers managed to develop their own exuberant sound without directly copying their predecessors. After the band broke up in 1953, Keith Christie eventually modernized his style and, other than a four-song partial reunion session in 1958, the group was soon forgotten. ~ Scott Yanow