Monday, September 26, 2011

Sidney Bechet

An old find from Brick Lane or Cheshire Street markets back in the 80's. Released on the Charley Affinity label in 1986. Some nice vocal jazz here from the likes of O'Neil Spencer and Trixie Smith. Various bands include Noble Sissle's Swingers and Noble Sissle and His International Orchestra from the 30's.

Wikipedia says -

"Bechet (pronounced BAH-shay by the family, most commonly pronounced buh-SHAY) was born in New Orleans to a middle-class Creole of Color family. Sidney's older brother Leonard Bechet (1877-1952) was a part time trombonist and bandleader. Sidney Bechet quickly learned to play several musical instruments kept around the house, mostly by teaching himself; he soon decided to focus on clarinet. At age six, Sidney started playing along with his brother's band at a family birthday party, debuting his talents to aclaim. Later in his youth, Bechet studied with such renowned Creole clarinetists as Lorenzo Tio, "Big Eye" Louis Nelson Delisle, and George Baquet. Soon after, Bechet would be found playing in many New Orleans ensembles, improvising with what was "acceptable" for jazz at that time (obbligatos, with scales and arpeggios, and "variating" the melody). These ensembles included parade work with Henry Allen's celebrated Brass Band, the Olympia Orchestra, and John Robichaux's "genteel" dance orchestra. In 1911-1912, he performed with Bunk Johnson in the Eagle Band of New Orleans, and in 1913-1914, with King Oliver in the Olympia Band.
Although Bechet spent his childhood and adolescence in New Orleans, from 1914-1917 he was touring and traveling, going as far north as Chicago, and frequently teaming up with another famous Creole musician, Freddie Keppard. In the spring of 1919, he traveled to New York, where he joined Will Marion Cook's Syncopated Orchestra. Soon after, the orchestra journeyed to Europe where, almost immediately upon arrival, they performed at the Royal Philharmonic Hall in London. The group was warmly received, and Bechet was especially popular, attracting attention near and far.
While in London, Bechet discovered the straight soprano saxophone, and quickly developed a style quite unlike his warm, reedy clarinet tone. His saxophone sound could be described as "emotional", "reckless", and "large". He would often use a very broad vibrato, similar to what was common for some New Orleans clarinetists at the time."

Tracks are -

1. Freight Train Blues
2. My Daddy Rocks Me Pt. 1
3. My Daddy Rocks Me Pt. 2
4. You Cant Live In Harlem
5. Taint A Fit Night Out For Man Nor Beast
6. Rhythm Of Broadway Moon
7. Loveless Love
8. Polka Dot Rag

Sydney Bechet - Side Two

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