Today: The late Sidney Bechet was born in 1897 – 116 years ago

sidney bechet

But drinking and reefers and all that stuff, most times they just mess up all the feeling you got inside yourself and all the feeling the music’s got inside itself. When a man goes at the music that way, it’s just a sign that there’s a lot inside himself he don’t know how to answer. He’s not knowing which way he needs to go. He’s not going anywhere at all.
~Sidney Bechet (Treat It Gentle: The Autobiography of Sidney Bechet)

Petite Fleur ( the Olympia Concert Paris, December 8, 1954):

A brilliant soprano saxophonist and clarinetist with a wide vibrato that listeners either loved or hated, Bechet’s style did not evolve much through the years but he never lost his enthusiasm or creativity. A master at both individual and collective improvisation within the genre of New Orleans jazz, Bechet was such a dominant player that trumpeters found it very difficult to play with him. Bechet wanted to play lead and it was up to the other horns to stay out of his way.
~Scott Yanow (


Born May 14, 1897
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Died May 14, 1959 (aged 62)
Garches, France
Genres Jazz
Occupations Clarinetist
Instruments Clarinet
Soprano saxophone
Years active 1908–1957
Associated acts Louis Armstrong
Tommy Ladnier

Sidney Bechet (May 14, 1897 – May 14, 1959) was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer.

He was one of the first important soloists in jazz (beating cornetist and trumpeter Louis Armstrong to the recording studio by several months and later playing duets with Armstrong), and was perhaps the first notable jazz saxophonist. Forceful delivery, well-constructed improvisations, and a distinctive, wide vibrato characterized Bechet’s playing.

Bechet’s erratic temperament hampered his career, however, and not until the late 1940s did he earn wide acclaim.


Blue Horizon:

.. by combining the ‘cry’ of the blues players and the finesse of the Creoles into his ‘own way,’ Sidney Bechet created a style which moved the emotions even as it dazzled the mind.
~Robert Palmer

Playlist of the day:

Other May 14:

  • David Byrne (born May 14, 1952) is a Scottish-born musician permanently residing in the United States, and was a founding member and principal songwriter of the American New Wave band Talking Heads, which was active between 1975 and 1991. Since then, Byrne has released his own solo recordings and worked with various media including film, photography, opera, and non-fiction. He has received Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe awards and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.david-byrne
  • Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra, (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and film actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the “bobby soxers”, he released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra in 1946. His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1954 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity.
  • Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere is the second studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young, released on Reprise Records catalogue RS 6349. His first with backing band Crazy Horse, it peaked at #34 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified a platinum album by the RIAA.
    Released May 14, 1969
    Recorded January & March 1969
    Wally Heider Recording, Hollywood,California
    Genre Rock, folk rock, country rock, hard rock
    Length 40:29
    Label Reprise
    Producer Neil Young, David Briggs

  • Keith William Relf (22 March 1943 – 14 May 1976), was a musician best known as the lead singer and harmonica player of The Yardbirds. After the Yardbirds broke up Relf formed the acoustic duo Together, with fellow Yardbird Jim McCarty, followed by Renaissance, which also featured his sister, singer Jane Relf, then hard rock group Armageddon. Relf also produced tracks for artists such as folk-rock band Hunter Muskett, the acoustic world music group Amber, psychedelic band Saturnalia and blues-rock band Medicine Head, with whom he played bass guitar.
  • Jimmy Martin (August 10, 1927 – May 14, 2005) was an American bluegrass musician, known as the “King of Bluegrass”.
  • Bob Dylan recorded master version of “Lenny Bruce” @ Clover Recorders, Los Angeles, California in 1981 – 31 years ago.
    This was “Shot Of Love” recording session # 15. Produced by Chuck Plotkin and Bob Dylan.
    Lenny Bruce is dead but his ghost lives on and on
    Never did get any Golden Globe award, never made it to Synanon
    He was an outlaw, that’s for sure
    More of an outlaw than you ever were
    Lenny Bruce is gone but his spirit’s livin’ on and on