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Sidney Bechet Story [Box set]

Sidney Bechet Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Jan 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Phantom Sound & Vision
  • ASIN: B000A2PN7I
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Disc: 1
1. Wild Cat Blues
2. Kansas City Man Blues
3. House Rent Blues [The Stomp]
4. Texas Moaner Blues
5. Mandy, Make up Your Mind
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Jazz Me Blues
2. Blue Horizon
3. Muskrat Ramble
4. Jeepers Creepers
5. Jackass Blues
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Old Man Blues
2. Wild Man Blues
3. Nobody Knows the Way I Feel This Morning
4. Blues in Thirds
5. Save It, Pretty Mama
See all 25 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Sweet Patootie
2. Trixie's Blues
3. Hold Tight [Want Some Seafood Mama]
4. Jungle Drums
5. Ja-Da
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Product Description

CD Description

Sidney Bechet was undoubtedly the first great jazz improviser in the history of jazz music. His power and imagination thrilled audiences everywhere during his long career and influenced musicians from Johnny Hodges to John Coltrane. Sidney Bechet was one of a kind. Here are 93 tracks spanning over 27 years, the first being recorded in 1923. The monumental booklet tells the story of this remarkable musician and includes rare photos and discographies.

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
By daisy
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
By choice I am a hard bop man but do collect widely for my jazz library. For some time now I have been adding Proper's box sets to my collection, thus I bought this one as a matter of course rather than specific interest - now I cannot stop listening to it.
All you Coltrane fans should go out and get it immediately: you will hear the foundations of the man's music in this and also hear the most thrilling soloist, on reed, prior to Parker, in jazz.
Add to that the comprehensive listings, excellent photographic reproductions and well-written musical biography and you are purchasing a true gem, and at the price of a large organic chicken!
This is a collection to be savoured; Bechet's work flows like a great river through it showing the way, to every future soloist, what jazz can sound like when played by a master.
Well done Proper, you have excelled yourself. Everyone who likes music from Bach to Marsalis should buy this one!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
When you have been listening to jazz records for a few years you begin to recognise some players straight away by their sound and/or style. Here is a selection: Basie, Waller, Davis (easy); Coltrane, Armstrong, Ory (fairly easy); Hawkins, Monk, Lester Young (can usually spot these). But the one musician whose sound and style are unique, in the true meaning of the word, is Sidney Bechet. His forceful playing and heavy vibrato are unmistakeable, whether on clarinet or soprano saxophone.

Although Bechet was active in the golden days of classic jazz he really came to prominence with the Revivalists of the late 1930s and 1940s. These four CDs cover his entire recording career starting in 1923 right through to 1950, after which he went into retirement in the South of France.

In general Bechet chose, or had chosen for him, good company. The other players on these discs include Louis Armstrong, Mezz Mezzrow, Tommy Ladnier, Pops Foster, Vic Dickenson and many of others of similar calibre.

It can't have been easy playing with Bechet. His default mode is to play loudly and forcefully and always take the limelight. For example, on "Maple Leaf Rag" from 1932 it is clear that Ladnier and the other musicians simply give in after a couple of bars and let Bechet get on with dominating the recording from beginning to end. It must be one of the most exciting pieces of jazz ever recorded. And when other players are soloing he can invariably be heard soloing in the background and simply itching to get to the microphone. Strangely there are no recordings here from a 1940s session with Armstrong (which I have never heard).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Regarded as one of the fathers of improvisational jazz, clarinettist Sidney Bechet is perhaps one of the most important figures in the history of jazz.

This set collects a series of recordings from his earliest recordings in 1923 through to 1950, showcasing Bechet's great talents. He takes old standards and re-invents them, or performs stunning originals. In either case the tunes are inventive and swinging. Strongly rooted in the New Orleans style, you can see the birth of the improvisational/ freeform jazz movement of Coltrane and Davis.

Proper have, as usual, done a great job with this collection. The four discs are presented in slipcases, gathered together into a sturdy card outer. There is a 56 pg booklet loaded with photos and a fascinating biography of Bechet. The recordings themselves are in very good shape for their age and have been nicely cleaned up. For the price being asked, this is a steal. My only slight gripe is that there is no copy his wonderful `Petite Fluer', made famous by Chris Barber in the late `50's. Bechet had a long career and it is impossible to put all his recordings here, there will always be some dissent at the editor's choice of tracks for inclusion, and in the main a very good series of selections have been made.

Recommended for all fans of swinging New Orleans style jazz. If you like this then also check out the `Bix Beiderbecke Story' (also Proper) and the `Complete Louis Armstrong Hot Fives and Sevens' recordings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something Really Special 19 May 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I can't match the other reviewers here for musical knowledge but I can agree 100% this is great music - and something more too. To my ears - as a jazz buff not - a lot of the tracks sound quite 'dixie' or 'New Orleans' jazz.

I say that really to give casual listeners a very rough idea of Sidney's sound, 'cause I really would love as many people as posible to hear this music.

And that's 'cause the playing is just so uplifting - even on the slower tracks you can hear Sidney is just frantic to cut loose and dominate the whole procedings, often at the expence of some of his colleagues! That's not to say there aren't some fine players on the albums, its just none can match Sidney's power and vitality.

I personally have never heard anyone play the sax or clarinet quite like Bechet (try 'Maple Leaf Rag' on the 'Wild Cat Blues CD and you will hear what I mean) and I'd urge anyone who like's music to give this a try!

Wonderful, vibrant music as living today as when it was recorded 50, 60 odd years ago. Don't worry if you don't know anything about Bechet or his music (or jazz at all) as there's a great 56 page booklet with it. And the sound quality is generally very high too.

Give it a go .....
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