Pre-War Classic Sides

Pre-War Classic Sides

by Sidney BechetSidney Bechet


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Covering the years 1931-1940 and packed with informative liner notes as well as a detailed discography, this four-CD chronological tribute to New Orleans master clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet places his essential work in context within a remarkably diverse weave of collaborations with some of the best jazz musicians active in the decade preceding the Second World War. Bechet's recording career may be delineated into four periods; his primal sessions with Louis Armstrong and Clarence Williams (1923-1925); his variegated career as leader and sideman during the '30s; his pivotal role at the heart of the New Orleans Revival during the '40s, and his triumphant domination of the traditional jazz scene in Paris during the '50s. Bechet's second period -- carefully documented on this compilation -- contains without a doubt the most stylistically varied recordings in his entire oeuvre. Forget what uptight critics and historians say about Sidney Bechet's personality, behavior, or choice of material. Let the music be your guide. Each and every one of these 97 tracks is a precious piece of the panoramic mosaic called jazz. Sidney Bechet struggled through the '30s along with millions of other good folks. Despite his groundbreaking work as one of the primary innovators in early jazz, Bechet really had to scuffle during the Great Depression; when musical work became scarce he opened and operated the Southern Tailor Shop in partnership with trumpeter Tommy Ladnier at St. Nicholas Avenue and West 128th Street in Harlem, U.S.A. Bechet maintained a pot of gumbo in the back room, where impromptu jam sessions were also held. Ladnier and Bechet are heard together in the first half-dozen of 26 recordings issued under the name of Eubie Blake's vaudeville partner Noble Sissle, with lots of vocals by the leader himself as well as Billy Banks, Lavaida Carter, drummer O'Neill Spencer and 18-year-old Lena Horne. The Sissle sides represent most of Bechet's recording activity between the years 1931 and 1938. Bechet's New Orleans Feetwarmers made their first records as a unit on September 15, 1932. These amazing performances, particularly the riotous "Maple Leaf Rag" and "Shag," are definitive examples of authentic jazz sprouted directly from the taproot of the tradition. In 1938 Bechet's bands backed blues singer Trixie Smith and the vaudeville team of Leola "Coot" Grant and Wesley "Kid" or "Sox" Wilson. 1938 is also important for a fine date involving baritone saxophonist Ernie Caceres and a Mezz Mezzrow-infused session conducted under Tommy Ladnier's nominal leadership. Sadly, Ladnier was already seriously ill; he succumbed to arteriosclerosis on June 4, 1939. Four days later, with a heartfelt "Blues for Tommy" and a gut-wrenching version of "Summertime," Sidney Bechet participated as both a leader and a member of the Port of Harlem Seven in what is now considered to have been the inauguration of the Blue Note record label. He also collaborated with pianist Willie "The Lion" Smith in the making of 13 wonderful West Indian-styled recordings issued as by "The Haitian Orchestra," and sat in with Jelly Roll Morton's New Orleans Jazzmen. 1940 was a glorious year for Bechet; he collaborated with folk/blues vocalist Josh White, made excellent records with Muggsy Spanier, stood his ground during a reunion session with Louis Armstrong, and presided over several more superb editions of the Feetwarmers.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/30/2007
Label: Jsp Records
UPC: 0788065903329
catalogNumber: 933
Rank: 138394


Disc 1

  1. Got the Bench, Got the Park
  2. In a Café on the Road to Calais
  3. Loveless Love
  4. Basement Blues
  5. Wha'd Ya Do to Me
  6. Roll on, Mississippi, Roll On
  7. Sweetie Dear
  8. I Want You Tonight
  9. I've Found a New Baby
  10. Lay Your Racket
  11. Maple Leaf Rag
  12. Shag
  13. Under the Creole Moon
  14. The Old Ark Is Moverin'
  15. Loveless Love
  16. Polka Dot Rag
  17. That's What Love Did to Me
  18. You Can't Live in Harlem
  19. I Wonder Who Made Rhythm
  20. 'Tain't a Fit Night out for Man or Beast
  21. I Take to You
  22. Rhythm of the Broadway Moon
  23. Bandanna Days
  24. I'm Just Wild About Harry
  25. Dear Old Southland
  26. Okey-Doke

Disc 2

  1. Characteristic Blues
  2. Viper Mad
  3. Blackstick
  4. When the Sun Sets Down South
  5. Sweet Patootie
  6. Freight Train Blues
  7. Trixie Blues
  8. My Daddy Rocks Me, Pt. 1
  9. My Daddy Rocks Me, Pt. 2
  10. He May Be Your Man, But He Comes to Me Sometimes
  11. Jack, I'm Mellow
  12. Uncle Joe
  13. I Am a Woman
  14. Toot It, Brother Armstrong
  15. Blue Monday on Sugar Hill
  16. My Unusual Man
  17. What a Dream
  18. Hold Tight
  19. Jungle Drums
  20. Chant in the Night
  21. Ja Da
  22. Really the Blues
  23. When You and I Were Young, Maggie
  24. Weary Blues
  25. Summertime

Disc 3

  1. Blues for Tommy
  2. Pounding Heart Blues
  3. Magic Islands
  4. Mayotte
  5. Rosa Rhumba
  6. Sous Les Palmiers
  7. Colonel Bogey
  8. Diane
  9. Nana
  10. De Nous Meme
  11. Titte Chatte
  12. La Belle Germaine
  13. Ti Ralph
  14. Meringue d'Amour
  15. Danses de Chez Nous
  16. Oh, Didn't He Ramble
  17. High Society
  18. I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say
  19. Winin' Boy Blues
  20. Indian Summer
  21. One O'Clock Jump
  22. Preachin' Blues
  23. Sidney's Blues
  24. Careless Love
  25. Milk Cow Blues

Disc 4

  1. Lonesome Blues
  2. Dear Old Southland
  3. Bechet's Steady Rider
  4. Saturday Night Blues
  5. Four or Five Times
  6. Sweet Lorraine
  7. Lazy River
  8. China Boy
  9. If I Could Be with You One Hour Tonight
  10. That's a Plenty
  11. Squeeze Me
  12. Sweet Sue
  13. Perdido Street Blues
  14. 2.19 Blues
  15. Down in Honky Tonk Town
  16. Coal Cart Blues
  17. Shake It and Break It
  18. Old Man Blues
  19. Wild Man Blues
  20. Nobody Knows the Way I Feel 'Dis Mornin'
  21. Make Me a Pallet on the Floor

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sidney Bechet   Primary Artist,Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Vocals
Josh White   Guitar,Vocals
Sidney DeParis   Trumpet
Lena Horne   Vocals
Jelly Roll Morton   Piano,Vocals
Albert Nicholas   Clarinet
Muggsy Spanier   Cornet
Charlie Shavers   Trumpet
Luis Russell   Piano
Frankie Newton   Trumpet
Zutty Singleton   Drums
Erskine Butterfield   Piano
Noble Sissle   Vocals
Teddy Bunn   Guitar
Wellman Braud   Bass,String Bass
Tommy Ladnier   Trumpet
Jimmy Miller   Guitar
Bernard Addison   Guitar
Louis Armstrong   Trumpet,Vocals
Billy Banks   Vocals
Dave Bowman   Piano
Ernie Caceres   Baritone Saxophone
Happy Caldwell   Tenor Saxophone
Big Sid Catlett   Drums
Kenny Clarke   Drums
Wendell Culley   Trumpet
Demas Dean   Trumpet
Pops Foster   String Bass
Richard "Dick" Fullbright   String Bass
Howard Hill   Guitar
Rudy Jackson   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Manzie Johnson   Drums
Claude Jones   Trombone,Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
Wilbert Kirk   Drums
Meade "Lux" Lewis   Piano
Lawrence Lucie   Guitar
Carmen Mastren   Guitar
Bill Maxey   Vocals
Wilson Myers   Bass,Vocals,String Bass
Mezz Mezzrow   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Teddy Nixon   Trombone
Jerome Pasquall   Tenor Saxophone
Lloyd Pinckney   Piano
Kenneth Roane   Trumpet
Willie "The Lion" Smith   Piano
O'Neill Spencer   Drums,Vocals
Henry Turner   String Bass
Ramón "Moncho" Usera   Clarinet,Violin,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Leonard Ware   Electric Guitar
Sonny White   Piano
John Williams [double bass]   String Bass
Jim Tolliver   Tenor Saxophone
Elmer James   Bass
Henry Duncan   Piano
Charlie Howard   Electric Guitar
Morris Morland   Drums
Sandy Williams   Trombone
Trixie Smith   Vocals
Clarence Brereton   Trumpet
Harry Brooks   Piano
Sam Price   Piano
Gil White   Tenor Saxophone
Harvey Boone   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Frank Etheridge   Banjo
Chester Burrill   Trombone
Oscar Madera   Violin
Coot Grant   Vocals
Billy Burns   Trombone
Jack Carter   Drums
Chauncey Houghton   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Johnny Williams   String Bass
Lavaida Carter   Vocals
Olin Aderhold   String Bass
Jimmy Jones   String Bass
Cliff Jackson & His Crazy Cats   Piano
Kid Wilson   Vocals
Leo Warney   Drums
Jimmy Jones   String Bass,12-string Bass Guitar
Edward Coles   String Bass
Ralph Duquense   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Edward Coles   Brass
Billy Burns   Trombone
Frank Ethridge   Banjo

Technical Credits

Jelly Roll Morton   Arranger
Noble Sissle   Director
Harry Brooks   Arranger
Ted Kendall   Liner Notes
Drew Kent   Liner Notes
Edward Coles   Brass Band
Two Fishmongers   Duet

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Pre-War Classic Sides 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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