Sidney Bechet

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sidney Bechet
Photographic portrait of Bechet at Jimmy Ryan's Club in New York, 1947, by William P. Gottlieb
Photographic portrait of Bechet at Jimmy Ryan's Club in New York, 1947, by William P. Gottlieb
Background information
Born(1897-05-14)May 14, 1897
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
DiedMay 14, 1959(1959-05-14) (aged 62)
Garches, France
GenresJazz, Dixieland
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
InstrumentsClarinet, soprano saxophone
Years active1908–1957

Sidney Bechet (May 14, 1897 – May 14, 1959) was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer.

Bechet was born in 1897 in New Orleans. His brother gave him a clarinet.[1] He played it very well by the time he was 6 years old. By age 15 he had played in many bands. He moved to Chicago when he was 17. He played with King Oliver's band and others.[2]

In 1919 he moved to New York and joined a band that went to Europe. They played at London’s Royal Philharmonic Hall for five months. In London he started playing a soprano saxophone much of the time.[1] Bechet worked in London until 1922 when he was arrested for assault, jailed, and sent back to the U. S.[2]

His first recordings came out in 1923. He played solos on “Wild Cat Blues” and “Kansas City Man Blues.”[2] This made him "the first important jazz soloist on records in history (beating Louis Armstrong by a few months)."[3]

In 1925, he played in France with La Revue Nègre, the show that made dancer Josephine Baker famous. More trouble around a shooting put Bechet in a Paris jail during 1928 and 1929. He had to leave France.[2]

Back in New York from 1930, Bechet worked sometimes in Noble Sissle’s show band for most of the decade.[2]

In 1940-41, he made famous recordings of “Old Man Blues,” “Nobody Knows The Way I Feel This Morning,” “Egyptian Fantasy,” and “I Know That You Know.”[2]

He went back to Paris in 1949 to play at the Salle Pleyel Jazz Festival.[3] He was so popular that he decided to stay in France. In 1958 he played at the Brussels World’s Fair. Soon after that, he got lung cancer. He died on his birthday in 1959.[2]

Some Recordings[change | change source]

Singles[change | change source]

  • "Kansas City Man Blues", 1923
  • "Texas Moaner Blues", with Louis Armstrong, 1924
  • "Got the Bench, Got the Park (But I Haven't Got You)", 1931
  • "Dear Old Southland", 1937
  • "Blues in Thirds", 1940
  • "Egyptian Fantasy", 1941
  • "Muskrat Ramble", 1940
  • "Blue Horizon", 1944
  • "Dutch Swing College Blues", 1951
  • "Petite Fleur", 1952

Albums[change | change source]

  • "A Jazz Masterwork", 1948
  • "Sidney Bechet & Claude Luter", 1950
  • "Jazz Classics Vol. 1", 1950
  • "Jazz Classics Vol. 2", 1950
  • "Sidney Bechet - Bunk Johnson: Days Beyond Recall", 1951
  • "Sidney Bechet, Claude Luter: On Parade", 1951
  • "Sidney Bechet, Claude Luter, Andre Reweliotty et son Orchestre: Bechet-Souvenirs", 1951
  • "Sidney Bechet, Muggsy Spanier: Jam Session", 1952
  • "Sidney Bechet", 1952
  • "Port of Harlem Six", 1952
  • "Soprano Sax Solos", 1952

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Sidney Bechet - New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)". Retrieved 2023-02-23.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Sidney Bechet: Profiles in Jazz - The Syncopated Times". 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2023-02-23.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Sidney Bechet: Biography". Retrieved 2023-02-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)