Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Bol

Sidney Bechet CDs

32 posts in this topic

I've been relishing listening to Bechet in the last few weeks. It started with some Blue Notes and the sessions on the Mosaic HRS box. I just managed to find a 3-CD RCA set in a used CD store in NYC.

Aside from these Blue Note, RCA, and HRS sessions, could anyone give me some recommendations? I can only listen to CDs (I don't have a turntable), and I do not like buying boxes with questionable copyright credentials. Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He did a nice 'modern' session with Martial Solal (sp?) on piano, usually known as When a Soprano Meets a Piano; but I'm not sure if it's available on CD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that the Solal date IS on cd. I've looked for it unsuccessfully.

I have a number of Chronogical Classics cds from the late forties that are wonderful and have material that are not reissued otherwise, or at least not readily available. Also I have a few of French RCA cds that are fantastic! I'm just buying whatever Bechet I encounter; there is hardly a bad session around!

Also, I recommend getting the "King Jazz Records" material that he and Mezz Mezzrow put out. The best way to get this material these days may be to get the cds put out on the Jazzology label by George H. Buck, from the master records. These are the best sounding of the sources I've found. I have these on King Jazz cds from Italy as well, with edgier digital sound, and they are available on Storyville cds, which I have never heard. (Do I really need THREE versions of these? Don't force me to answer that question trutfully! :P )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that 3 cd RCA set is quite a find.

if it's the one i'm thinking of, it's been out of print for some time, and the music/sound quality is exceptional.

try to find the blue notes if you can.

there was a best, plust 1 or 2 individual titles released in the u.s.

the holy grail of course is the complete blue note mosaic.

probably my favorite of all the mosaics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have the RCA and the Blue Notes, you're pretty well set up.

You should now look for the recordings Bechet made with Mezz Mezzrow for the King Jazz label in the mid-forties. They have been reissued by Storyville. Four CDs. Great music!

I'll also recommend the Bechet-Martial Solal album. An unusual combination that turned surprisingly successful!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are also the recordings from the 20s and 30s with Clarence Williams or Noble Sissle. Some of the bands might sound dated, but Bechet got off some mighty solos. There exist a number of budget European discs with this material.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You already have a large chunk of the essentials, but I'm like Lon - if it's Bechet I get it as soon as I see it. Also I'll second John L's recomendation for the Clarence Williams material (particulary the things with Louis Armstrong) and Noble Sissle stuff. Probably the easiest way to get it is on the Chronogical Classics. There's a great sounding Timeless cd called "Young Sidney Bechet 1923-25" that has a lot of the Clarence Williams stuff (and the companion band "The Red Onion Jazz Babies" - almost the same band) in the best reissue sound to date. "Cakewalkin' Babies From Home" was down by both bands and makes for great comparison between Pops and Bechet in what was somewhat of a rivalry match in two rounds according to jazzlore.

There's a great session from the 50s on Vogue with Jonah Jones. I have it on vinyl, but I think it's available on cd from fantasy on the Good Time Jazz subsidiary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Q: the RCA Bechet on cd had decent sound? Really? Really? I was under the impression it was a fuckin' disaster a la their NO NOISE Jelly Roll travesty.

clem

I have not heard the RCA set but, IIRC, they accidently used a bunch of alternates instead of the master takes.

The RCA material is fantastic, however you get it - alternates and all. BUT you need the master takes.

I decided to take the Classics/Neatwork avenue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the RCA French Jazz Tribunes. But they are probably hard to find at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, thanks all for your very helpful suggestions. It seems that the Storyville CDs and most of the Masters of Jazz CDs are out of print.

Given those facts, it seems that Classics may be the way to go to get the recordings many of you are talking about. If I am not mistaken, Classics has been releasing chronological and complete Bechet recordings, and will eventually release all the recordings up to 1958 or '59. It seems that they are now at 1952. (Mezz Mezzrow recordings are also available from Classics.)

I've been sort of reluctant to dip into Classics CDs. But perhaps I should do so now. And it seems that Classics is the only way to get much of Louis Armstrong's Decca sessions.

For those of you familiar with these, how are the sounds on these Classic CDs? I do not have many European manufactured CDs. I have some Django Fremeauxs, and I've found that they are not the most expertly remastered CDs. Are the Classics OK?

Thanks again.

P.S. By the way, the RCA set is truly wonderful. I agree with one of you that the sound is not the best. It sounds awfully dry and a bit shrill. But given the wonderful music, I do not really mind. Of course, I would have preferred better sound. Perhaps someday, RCA will release a better and fuller version of this set, along with better versions of the Fats Waller and Ellington sets! One can only hope.

Edited by Bol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the sound on the Classics VERY acceptable. It's not JRT Davies (first choice) but I have usually have no problem with it. There have been a few I did not like, but really I'm usually happy with the Classics.

Re RCA: generally speaking I find RCA recordings from the 30s and early 40s to be somewhat shrill and that's going back to microgroove of the 50s. Fats, Muggsy, etc. Duke excepted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another vote for the RCA and the Blue Note sessions as some of the most important jazz recordings ever made!

BTW: Definitive Records released their usual "complete mastertakes" of these two, with pretty decent sound... where did they rip-off from this time? :ph34r:

If you do not want to pick all the Classics or the Masters of Jazz for the earlier recordings (20´s), the Proper Box includes (alongside many later sessions) a short but good overview of this period (about 10 tracks in disc 1). I don´t have my copy here but, as far as I remember, this set includes some Clarence Williams´ Blue Five (with and without Louis Armstrong) and some recordings with blues singers (Red Onion Jazz Babies and more).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I remember correctly, Vouge (France) issued app 10 years ago a set of 8 CDs with his complete recordings for the label. Of course it is OOP, but I hope one day I'll put my hands on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

picked up the RCA France ( B&W)double LP 1940/1 yesterday - lovely stuff and only £5 in mint condition

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I remember correctly, Vouge (France) issued app 10 years ago a set of 8 CDs with his complete recordings for the label. Of course it is OOP, but I hope one day I'll put my hands on it.

Given that Bechet spent so much time in France, such a set would be really nice to have. Too bad it is oop. Perhaps we should start lobbying Mosaic for a set -- something like their Django set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I remember correctly, Vouge (France) issued app 10 years ago a set of 8 CDs with his complete recordings for the label. Of course it is OOP, but I hope one day I'll put my hands on it.

Given that Bechet spent so much time in France, such a set would be really nice to have. Too bad it is oop. Perhaps we should start lobbying Mosaic for a set -- something like their Django set.

bracelet.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:tup:tup:tup

Count me in for that lobby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw an inexpensive copy of Jam Session (Fat Boy 268). Anyone know what this is?

AMG lists:

1. Sweet Lorraine performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

2. Lazy River performed by Bechet / Stewart, Rex Big Seven

3. China Boy performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

4. Four or Five Times performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

5. That's A-Plenty performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

6. Squeeze Me performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

7. Sweet Sue, Just You performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

8. Cherry performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

9. Diga Diga Doo performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

Muggsy Spanier - Cornet

Rex Stewart - Cornet, Performer

Lawrence Brown - Trombone

Wellman Braud - Bass

Sidney Bechet - Clarinet, Sax (Soprano)

Barney Bigard - Clarinet

Billy Kyle - Piano

Carmen Mastren - Guitar

Dave Tough - Drums

Brick Fleagle - Guitar

Maybe it's a Rex Stewart date?

[Also, I have an extra copy of RCA France's "The Complete Sidney Bechet, Vol. 3&4 (1941)." Email or PM me for info or look here.]

Edited by alankin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw an inexpensive copy of Jam Session (Fat Boy 268). Anyone know what this is?

AMG lists:

1. Sweet Lorraine performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

2. Lazy River performed by Bechet / Stewart, Rex Big Seven

3. China Boy performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

4. Four or Five Times performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

5. That's A-Plenty performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

6. Squeeze Me performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

7. Sweet Sue, Just You performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

8. Cherry performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

9. Diga Diga Doo performed by Bechet / Rex Stewart

Muggsy Spanier - Cornet

Rex Stewart - Cornet, Performer

Lawrence Brown - Trombone

Wellman Braud - Bass

Sidney Bechet - Clarinet, Sax (Soprano)

Barney Bigard - Clarinet

Billy Kyle - Piano

Carmen Mastren - Guitar

Dave Tough - Drums

Brick Fleagle - Guitar

Maybe it's a Rex Stewart date?

Rex Stewart is on the last two tracks only. Both from a July 1940 Rex Stewart session for HRS (with Bigard, not Bechet).

The first seven are a March 194O HRS session by the Bechet/Spanier Big Four (Spanier, Becher, Mastren and Braud).

Now don't tell me AMG got this wrong :g

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you can find 'em, the Masters of Jazz series was great, including some really weird, really interesting live things-- ah crap, my Muhal "Song for All" cd is skipping, lemme finish this later... treat it gentle--

c

MUCH earlier on this particular thread (two years ago!), somebody mentioned the Vogue set. I bought it a few years ago in, of all places, Charles Degaulle Airport in Paris. It was a 9-cd set (not 8) entitled "Sidnet Bechet Intégrale Studio 1949/1958." There is some wonderful stuff there, including the interesting session with Solal, but to be honest, there are also a fair number of things that aren't that good. Bechet himself is always interesting, of course, but some of the musicians who accompanied him on the earlier material weren't even within shouting distance of his ability (which is too bad, since there *were* great French musicians at the time who could have given him better support). I've always believed that Bechet was one of those jazz greats who played best when he was really challenged by his bandmates.

That said, "Blue Horizon" on Blue Note may well be the greatest single jazz record ever made. Makes my spine tingle every time I hear it! ^_^

Greg M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the Sidney Bechet and Muggsy Spanier sessions from 1940 are some of the greatest jazz ever. They are incredibly spirited. They are available on the CD "Up a lazy river":

http://www.amazon.com/Up-Lazy-River-Sidney...TF8&s=music

And this "Shake em up" has the whole sessions with Spanier:

http://www.amazon.com/Shake-Em-Up-Sidney-B...TF8&s=music

Also a fine collection:

http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.120531

- Jostein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll echo the sentiments about the Mosaic Select, an excellent compilation.

What I'd like to see is a comprehensive reissue of the twelve or so Fat Cat Jazz lps that contained the Storyville broadcasts with Bunk Johnson and then Johnny Windhurst on trumpet. GREAT stuff for Bech lovers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll echo the sentiments about the Mosaic Select, an excellent compilation.

What I'd like to see is a comprehensive reissue of the twelve or so Fat Cat Jazz lps that contained the Storyville broadcasts with Bunk Johnson and then Johnny Windhurst on trumpet. GREAT stuff for Bech lovers.

I'd like to see that also, but I think the Fat Cat material is being withheld by Fat Cat's estate.

IF it does come out it will most likely be on Jazzology.

Unless Disconforme' beats them to the punch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.