Jazz Appreciation Month: Sidney Bechet

Sidney Bechet (1897-1959) was a clarinet and Soprano Saxophone player (amoung many others) who was there at the forefront of Jazz, however I am placing him her for a very specific reason.

In 1939 a new record label called Blue Note Records appeared on the scene, and it was to become one of the definitive Jazz. While the Hard Bop sound for which the label became famous for would not materialise until the 1950s, and the modern Jazz movement as we know it didn’t arrive until towards the end of the Second World War, Bluenote put some excellent recordings before hand, and in 1939 Sidney Bechet recorded a lyrical version of “Summertime.” This was to become Bluenote’s first hit record.

In 1941 Bechet recorded an experimental take of “the Shiek of Araby” where through the magic of overdubbing he was able to play all the instruments. However, the technology was in its infancy and there was a loss of quality with each dub. If you can here the drums, you win a night out with Jayne Mansfield.

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