Ian Bateman has been at the top of the British jazz scene for a long time now. After paying his dues with the popular Pete Allen Jazz Band for 7 years he got his first break when he joined Rod Mason and his Hot Five in Germany in 1992 – a move that introduced him to the early music of Louis Armstrong. Of course, being a thirty-something (at the time!), Ian was more used to the music of Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars and the pop hits of this great man – as was his brother Alan. Ian followed this with long spells with Terry Lightfoot and his Jazz Band and latterly with Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band. During this time, Alan Bateman was playing semi-professionally whilst holding down a very skilled job at the EMI CD production facility in Swindon. He eventually turned professional and joined Terry Lightfoot’s band, bringing him and Ian together on the same European jazz circuit.
People soon caught on that once again the British jazz scene had two brothers! Very soon the brothers were being booked at jazz clubs together as guests and whilst there was the obvious novelty of having two brothers on stage, they both soon realised that their styles were very complimentary. What was more important was that Ian realised that Alan sounded like Louis Armstrong! Alan, with more time on his hands had gone into study mode and the results were truly astounding.