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Sidney Bechet

Sidney Bechet, “Blues of Bechet/The Sheik of Araby,” Le Voix de Son Maitre (His Masters Voice)(FRA), Label #SG 167, 10” 78rpm, Year Unknown.

Sidney Bechet was a pioneering clarinetist and soprano saxophonist from New Orleans. In 1919 he joined the Southern Syncopated Orchestra and travelled to Europe, playing mostly concert music with fixed arrangements of songs and little improvising. Shortly after he broke away from the orchestra, he worked in England and France with a small ragtime band. He did eventually make his way back to the U.S. to play with the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1924. He also made a group of seminal recordings with Louis Armstrong. Bechet’s career saw ups and downs throughout the remaining ‘20s and 1930s. He settled permanently in France, where this recording was released.

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