Isotope Stompers

I am proud and happy to have worked with the Isotope Stompers – a seven-piece Dixieland Jazz Band who were originally founded by a group of jazz musicians with connections to Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island, New York.  While they are no longer active, they were regulars of the local library and community concert scene across Long Island for decades.  The last full-group publicity photo appears here below. Front (L to R): Frank Hansen (bass), Artie Miller (clarinet), Larry Pearlstein (piano), Bob Barta (banjo). Rear (L to R): Jerry Cohen (trombone), Ron Hammond (drums/washboard/leader), and Ken Butterfield (trumpet). I will always carry fond memories of each of these fine and fun gentlemen of jazz!!

The featured members of the Isotope Stompers (Liner notes from their “Dixieland By The Bay” CD- 2007)

KEN BUTTERFIELD – Our resident barrister doubles in the role of maestro and trumpet player. He is recognized for his swinging vocals as well as for his dynamics and tasteful phrasing. Ken, who spent many years with the Centerport Six before affiliating with the Stompers, is the son of the late studio trombonist Charlie Butterfield.

JERRY COHEN – Slide trombone – is a retired music teacher and an ex-big band sideman whose style, accuracy, and overall musical talent have made him a favorite with all audiences. Jerry’s credits include playing for Sammy Davis Jr., Cab Calloway, Frankie Laine and most recently with the Long Island Senior Pops and the Terry Terranova Orchestra. Pay attention to his beautiful tone….

BOB BARTA – With national exposure as a banjoist and vocalist, his credits include the New York Banjo Ensemble, Paramount Jazz Band, Sunnyland Jazz Band, and two performances at Carnegie Hall. He also leads the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall (a non-profit restored historic theater) and teaches at Suffolk County Community College. Bob wrote the music and lyrics for “I’m In Heaven” which debuts on this album.

ARTIE MILLER – Clarinet extraordinaire with a history of performing or recording with Teddy Wilson, Max Kaminsky, Earl Warren, Dill Jones, Milt Hinton, Roy Eldridge…well, you get the idea. He has played at the great jazz clubs like Jimmy Ryan’s, the Half Note, the Riverboat Restaurant, plus Carnegie Recital Hall and the Newport Jazz Festival. Artie just retired from the music department of the New York City school system.

LARRY PEARLSTEIN – Is a professional piano player with a masters in music and 40 years of experience freelancing in New York City. Besides teaching at the college level, he had steady gigs ranging from the Plaza Hotel to the Rainbow Room. Until 2001, before joining the Isotope Stompers, Larry played at Windows on the World at the top of the Twin Towers. We are fortunate to have him.

FRANK HANSEN – Plays the classic stand up bass with vigor and style. The most recent addition to the Stompers, Frank has played or recorded with Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown and the Count Basic Orchestra to mention a few. He has studied and taught at Berklee, The New England Conservatory, Queens College, and presently heads the music department at Commack High School.

RON HAMMOND – Drums, washboard, vocals and leader of the band, plays the clean, straightforward Dixieland style that keeps a hot group moving all the time. Ron’s background ranges from the Honolulu Symphony to the Bourbon Street Six, but the strongest influence was from his late father who played banjo with the New Orleans Jazz Band of Hawaii. They wouldn’t let Ron play washboard on this album.

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