Clarinetist Sidney Bechet (1897) was the musician who
tamed the soprano saxophone for jazz music. His style at both instruments
indulged in a heavy vibrato sound.
His saxophone style was
exuberant, eloquent and even torrential.
After performing in Will-Marion Cook's orchestra during its legendary European
tour of 1919,
cutting a handful of tracks in 1923-24,
recording with Louis Armstrong and Alberta Hunter in the Red Onion Jazz Babies (1924),
and accompanying Josephine Baker in Paris (1925),
sparely, although his style was reaching maturity, as proven by his
Lay Your Racket (september 1932) and I Want You Tonight (same session), and
especially by Joe Jordan's Shag (same session), that features his most momentous
playing (all of them with the seven-piece New Orleans Feetwarmers).
In november 1938 his career was reborn thanks to his
Chant In The Night and What A Dream (recorded by an "orchestra"
of soprano sax, baritone sax, piano, guitar, drums, bass).
He pioneered overdubbing when he played six instruments
(clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano, bass, drums)
on Sheik of Araby (april 1941).
He died in 1959.
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