Sidney Bechet • Four Classic Albums – Third Set

He was one of the first jazz greats to emerge from New Orleans and become a national star, debuting on record on July 30, 1923, with a pair of impressive features (“Wild Cat Blues” and “Kansas City Man Blues”). Sidney Bechet (1897-1959) was a brilliant clarinetist who became an even better soprano-saxophonist, a very competitive player who always dominated the bandstand, and had the abilities to make most other musicians accept that situation. After decades in which his fortunes rose, fell and rose again (although he always played consistently well), Bechet found unexpected success in France at the 1949 Paris Jazz Festival. He was treated as royalty and the contrast between that and the racial situation in the U.S. resulted in him permanently moving to France in 1951. Most reissue programs concentrate on Sidney Bechet’s classic American recordings of 1923-47 and largely ignore the many worthy sessions that he made in Europe during his final decade. Even those releases that have some of his Paris dates tend to focus on his 1949-53 sessions when he fronted Claude Luter’s band, all-star dates with visiting Americans, and his excellent encounter with the more modern pianist Martial Solal. The two CD Four Classic Albums – Third Set consists of music (dating from 1955-58) that was originally on four LPs, two of which have rarely been reissued. The opening set, (Que Faites �
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Since 1975 Scott Yanow has been a regular reviewer of albums in many jazz styles. He has written for many jazz and arts magazines, including JazzTimes, Jazziz, Down Beat, Cadence, CODA, and the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, and was the jazz editor for Record Review. He has written an in-depth biography on Dizzy Gillespie for He has authored 11 books on jazz, over 900 liner notes for CDs and over 20,000 reviews of jazz recordings.

Yanow was a contributor to and co-editor of the third edition of the All Music Guide to Jazz. He continues to write for Downbeat, Jazziz, the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, the Jazz Rag, the New York City Jazz Record and other publications.

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