Spreadin' Joy . 1940 - 1950
Naxos Jazz Legends
The Sheik of Araby
I Told you Once, I Told you Twice
Slippin' and Slidin'
Baby won't You Please Come Home
That's A Plenty
National Emblem March
Four or Five Times
I had It, but it's All Gone Now
Blues of Bechet
The album features Bechet with eight different bands, plus a couple of tracks
where he plays all the instruments.
I first got into jazz in 1948 aged 12, after first listening to the Big Bands
of the day and then developing a liking for Dixieland music. By 1951 I was
excited to learn that one of the legends of New Orleans, Sidney Bechet was
living in Paris, a city where he remained until he died on his
62nd. Birthday on the 14th. of May 1959.
Like many of his contemporaries Bechet started out playing Cornet with New
Orleans marching bands. This may well account for the way he played the Soprano
Sax, often playing the lead or melody line, which would normally have been
taken by the trumpet or cornet. He first came to fame as a Clarinet player,
but his best work was undoubtedly on the Soprano Sax, an instrument that
became his hallmark. In a way he forms a link between traditional and modern
jazz, with a unique style all of his own. The record contains two of the
earliest examples of multi-tracking on tracks 1 & 17 where Bechet plays
all the instruments. There are some good trumpet players however featured
on other tracks Henry 'Red ' Allen, Charlie Shavers, Wild Bill Davidson and
our own Humphrey Lyttelton are all heard in the different ensembles.
Bechet was one of the early giants of jazz, he had a unique sound on Soprano,
making him instantly recognisable and he must be rated alongside Armstrong
and the Duke in terms of innovation.
For any younger fans unfamiliar with his work, this record is a must for
your collection, For me it was a pleasure to recall some sounds that gave
me such immense pleasure a log time ago and I still enjoy to-day.
Don Mather is a Saxophone player and Bandleader in Coventry