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Sidney Bechet

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Album Review

This budget LP does not list the personnel or dates and makes it seem like Bechet is welcoming "guest artist" Lionel Hampton. Actually the two jazz greats never play together. Hampton (in 1953) appears in a quintet with clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow on "Sweet Lorraine" and plays a version of "Night and Day" in 1955 with a different combo. Bechet on the other hand mostly romps with Claude Luter's trad band on six concise standards. This music deserves better treatment than Everest provided.


Born: May 14, 1897 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s

Sidney Bechet was the first important jazz soloist on records in history (beating Louis Armstrong by a few months). A brilliant soprano saxophonist and clarinetist with a wide vibrato that listeners either loved or hated, Bechet's style did not evolve much through the years but he never lost his enthusiasm or creativity. A master at both individual and collective improvisation within the genre of New Orleans jazz, Bechet was such a dominant player that trumpeters found it very difficult to play with...
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