Artist picture of Sidney Bechet

Sidney Bechet

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Petite fleur Sidney Bechet 03:13
Si tu vois ma mère Sidney Bechet, Claude Luter Et Son Orchestre 03:12
Dans les rues d'Antibes Sidney Bechet, Claude Luter 03:25
When The Saints Go Marching In Sidney Bechet 02:59
September Song Sidney Bechet 02:45
Summertime Sidney Bechet 04:12
Joshua Fit De Battle of Jericho Sidney Bechet 03:21
Lazy River Sidney Bechet, Muggsy Spanier 04:13
Rose de Picardie Sidney Bechet 03:03
Indian Summer Sidney Bechet & His New Orleans Feetwarmers 03:07

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One of the early pioneers of jazz, saxophonist, clarinetist and composer Sidney Bechet led a colourful life which saw him twice deported back to his native America following crimes committed in France and the UK. He'd been imprisoned in the UK in 1922 following an assault on a woman and six years later he was allegedly involved in a duel in Paris following an incident where a music producer accused him of playing a wrong chord. In the ensuing shoot-out Bechet shot and injured an innocent female passer-by resulting in an 11-month jail sentence.

This was all a far cry from Bechet's upbringing in New Orleans where he had been something of a child prodigy growing up in a middle-class Creole family. His recording career began in the early 1920s but despite some early success Bechet found it increasingly difficult to forge a career in music and instead opened a tailor's shop. In the end, tired of struggling to make a living in the USA he relocated to France and after appearing at the Paris Jazz Fair his career as a musician began to take off and he signed a recording contract with the specialist French jazz label Disques Vogue, an association he maintained for the rest of his career. With Disques Vogue he recorded several songs that became hits including 'Les Oignons', 'Promenade Aux Champs-Elysees' and 'Petite Fleur'. He also tried his hand at classical composition, penning the score for a ballet in the style of Tchaikovsky. The ballet was called 'La Nuit Est Sorcière'.

Bechet was an extraordinary performer who became one of the most highly regarded players of his time. Duke Ellington said of him, "Bechet to me was the very epitome of jazz... everything he played in his whole life was completely original. I honestly think he was the most unique man to ever be in this music." Bechet died in France, his adopted home, in 1959.