Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sidney Bechet & Martial Solal Quartet

Sidney Bechet, who cut his first records in 1923, was an internationally acclaimed musician during the final decade of his life. A master of clarinet and soprano saxophone, his New Orleans background established him as a primal hero of Dixieland jazz, and almost everything in his later discography reflects that affiliation. When on March 12 and again on June 17, 1957 Bechet cut an album's worth of material with a trio led by Algerian-Parisian pianist Martial Solal, the results were profound, beautiful, and exciting. For the first session, Solal invited bassist Lloyd Thompson and drummer Al Levitt ; three months later, the bassist was Pierre Michelot and the drummer Kenny "Klook" Clarke, a pioneer of early modern jazz whose first European recordings included an opus from 1948 entitled "Algerian Cynicism." The Bechet-Solal Quartet album, which exists as the result of producer Charles Delaunay's self-described "brainwave" to combine taproot tradition with cutting-edge modernity, is unique among the rest of Bechet's output. Solal's approach was refreshingly creative -- within a couple of years he'd be laying down themes for the soundtrack of Jean Luc Godard's cinematic masterpiece of the French Nouvelle Vague, A Bout de Souffle (known in the U.S. as Breathless). Bechet sounds quite comfortable in this company, and the playlist, which includes "Jeepers Creepers," "All the Things You Are," and "I Only Have Eyes for You" is so different from his usual repertoire that sensitive and impressionable listeners who know his life and work by heart may find themselves deeply moved. This was not Bechet's final session -- about a dozen subsequent dates with French traditionalists end with his final recording in December 1958 -- but it feels a lot like his last testament. His outstanding musicianship is perfectly complemented by the skills of Solal, Clarke, Michelot, and the rest of the young men who were fortunate enough to sit in with the master during the twilight of his long and eventful career.
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Source :

Sidney Bechet
Martial Solal
Complete Recordings


1 I Only Have Eyes For You (Dubin, Warren)  3:01
2 The Man I Love (Gershwin, Gershwin)  2:45
3 Exactly Like You (McHugh, Fields)  2:57
4 These Foolish Things (Marvell, Strachey, Link)  3:49
5 Once In A While (Edwards, Green)  2:43
6 Jeepers Creepers (Warren, Mercer)  3:07
7 I Never Knew (Kahn, Fiorito)  3:00
8 Pennies From Heaven (Johnson, Burke)  3:44
9 All The Things You Are (Kern, Hammerstein II)  2:47
10 All Of Me (Simmons, Marks)  3:10
11 Embraceable You (Gershwin, Gershwin)  2:59
12 Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams (Koehler, Koll, Barris)  3:12
13 Rose Room (Hickman, Williams)  3:24
14 It Don’t Mean A Thing (Ellington, Mills)  3:00
15 Milenberg Joys (Rapollo, Mares, Morton)  2:51
16 Limehouse Blues (Braham, Furber)  3:22
17 The Blue Room (Rodgers, Hart)  3:14
18 Ol’ Rockin’ Chair (Carmichael)  2:44
19 Big Butter And Egg Man (Venable)  2:59
20 My Melancholy Baby (Norton, Burnett)  3:38
21 I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues (Arlen, Koehler)  2:56
22 Black Bottom (DaSylva, Brown, Henderson)  3:27
23 Baby’s Prayer (Trad.)  2:41
24 Lazy River (Carmichael, Arodin)  1:45
25 Stars Fell On Alabama/Lazy River (Parish, Perkins/Carmichael, Arodin)  2:44

Sidney Bechet - ss
Martial Solal - p
Lloyd Thompson - b [# 1-8]
Pierre Michelot - b [# 9-14]
Al Levitt - dr [# 1-8]
Kenny Clarke - dr [# 9-14]
Recorded in Paris, France ; March 12,  [# 1-8] ; & June 17, 1957 [# 9-14].
[# 15-25]
Sidney Bechet - ss
Lil Armstrong - p & vcl [# 19 & 24 only]
Zutty Singleton - dr
Recorded in Paris, France ; October 7, 1952
The complete recordings made by Sidney Bechet with French pianist Martial Solal - their only existing recordings together. All of these superlative tracks were recorded in a quartet setting, with accompaniment by the great drummer Kenny Clarke on the second session. As a bonus tracks, there are all of the master takes made by Bechet in a trio session that was also recorded in Paris with Lil Armstrong and Zutty Singleton in 1952.

Source :


Melanchthon said...

deGallo said...

Thank you. Don't have much Bechet.

fluffyalbert said...

many thanks for your continued work. I've really appreciated your site for some time now. This post particularly is excellent for me as I find Bechet to be a particularly gifted and fluid player of a beautiful instrument i.e. clarinet,

regards and take care,

Alan said...

Just discovered this great site and downloaded the Bechet - but what is the password to open it?

Alan said...

Don't worry - I've sussed it. Keep up the good work!

Blue Eyes said...

Love the playing of Sidney Bechet, many thanks Melanchthon for this one!

fcapeau said...

Historic sides ! Old bechet and Young Solal, both of them at their best !!
What Else !!! Many thanks, Melancthon.

B.why said...

The link doesn't work, please re-up. Thanks

B.why said...

I'm so sorry for some reason the link doesn't work on opera but does work on firefox. Thanks for the music anyway

@gilangnp said...

Rapidshare is gone, Melanchthon..