Sound Quality: 320 kb/s
Record Label: Gitanes Jazz Productions
Year Released: 2000
Album Covers: Included
About Sidney Bechet
Bechet was born in New Orleans. From a young age, Bechet quickly mastered any musical instrument he encountered. Some New Orleanians remembered him as a cornet hot-shot in his youth. At first he decided on the clarinet as his main instrument, and Bechet remained one of jazz's greatest clarinetists for decades. The clarinetist Jimmie Noone, who became famous in his own right, took lessons from Bechet when the latter was only thirteen-years old. Despite his prowess on clarinet, Bechet is best remembered as the first great master of the soprano saxophone. Bechet had experience playing in traveling shows even before he left New Orleans at the age of 20. Never long content in one place, he alternated using Chicago, New York, and Europe as his base of operations. Bechet was jailed in Paris, France when a female passerby was wounded during a pistol duel (which Bechet himself had instigated in an argument over chord changes); after serving jail time, Bechet was deported. He continued recording and touring, though his success was intermittent.
Bechet relocated to France in 1950. He married Elisabeth Ziegler in Antibes, France in 1951. Shortly before his death in Paris, Bechet dictated his poetic autobiography, Treat It Gentle. He died from lung cancer on his 62nd birthday.