A fine trombonist who is actually more significant as a bandleader, Max Collie has been an important force in the Australian trad jazz movement since the 1950s. Collie led the Jazz Bandits (1948-1950) and the Jazz Kings (1950-1962), part-time groups that gave him a great deal of practical experience. In 1962, Collie joined the Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band. When they visited England in 1963, he stayed overseas, becoming a member of the London City Stompers. In 1966, he became the group's leader and they were renamed Rhythm Aces. The group toured constantly during the late '60s and all throughout the 1970s and early '80s, often playing 250 concerts a year; the talented Phil Mason was the group's cornetist. Collie's first records as a leader were made for the WAM label in Hamburg, West Germany, in 1971. Since then he and his Rhythm Aces have also recorded for Reality, Happy Bird, Black Lion, GHB (during a 1974 tour, one of three that the group made of the United States), the Bix Lives label, Sweet Folk (a Swedish company), Esperance, Beerendonk, and most notably Timeless.
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