Sidney Bechet

Vive la France

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Sidney Bechet spent much of the last decade of his life in France, where he was treated like a Duc or a Marquis. The French had enough sense to honor Bechet and other African American musicians while they were still alive (even naming streets after Bechet and Louis Armstrong), and over the years, the French labels have reissued Bechet's later works with respectful thoroughness. Whereas the Classics chronological series wins highest marks for well over a dozen sequential volumes dedicated to Bechet, EPM's four-CD set, Vive la France, casually samples his recording activity during the years 1932-1953. Although the title might convey the mistaken impression that the contents are drawn exclusively from Bechet's Parisian triumphs, this 80-track anthology is laid out in a reverse chronology, opening with mostly Vogue recordings from Paris in the early ‘50s and drifting gradually over to Bechet's stateside strata, dipping all the way back to his tenure with Noble Sissle's Swingsters and his earliest dates as leader of his New Orleans Feetwarmers. This means that in addition to European players like clarinetists Claude Luter and Andre Réweliotty, cornetists Claude Rabanit and Pierre Dervaux, trombonists Mowgli Jospin and Guy Lognon, bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer "Moustache" Galepides, the collective personnel listing is peppered with familiar names from back home like frontliners Tommy Ladnier, Rex Stewart, Bill Coleman, Sidney DeParis, and Mezz Mezzrow, as well as Earl Hines, Cliff Jackson, Lil Hardin Armstrong, Meade "Lux" Lewis, Wilson Myers, Pops Foster, Wellman Braud, Kenny Clarke, Sid Catlett, and Baby Dodds. It's like a crash course in traditional New Orleans-styled jazz, both home-grown and transplanted to European soil. For a more thorough and systematic celebration of Bechet's Parisian adventures, look to the Classics chronological series. EPM's cover art was drawn from a large body of jazz-inspired works by Parisian painter Sacha Chimkevitch (1920-2006).

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:13 Spotify
2 2:44 Spotify
3 3:40
4 3:00 Spotify
5
3:45 Spotify
6 3:03
7 3:11 Spotify
8 2:34
9 3:16 Spotify
10 3:18 Spotify
11 3:16 Spotify
12
2:45
13 2:47 Spotify
14 2:32 Spotify
15 3:28 Spotify
16 3:36 Spotify
17 2:57 Spotify
18 2:39 Spotify
19 3:24 Spotify
20
3:06 Spotify
21 3:50 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:37 Spotify
2 3:13 Spotify
3 3:11 Spotify
4 3:30 Spotify
5 3:25 Spotify
6 3:21 Spotify
7 3:03 Spotify
8 2:45 Spotify
9 2:46 Spotify
10 2:37 Spotify
11 3:24 Spotify
12 3:09 Spotify
13 3:07 Spotify
14 2:50 Spotify
15 3:42 Spotify
16 3:08 Spotify
17 3:13 Spotify
18 3:08 Spotify
19 3:26 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:33 Spotify
2 3:40 Spotify
3 3:02 Spotify
4 3:04 Spotify
5 2:48 Spotify
6 2:47 Spotify
7 3:08 Spotify
8 2:35 Spotify
9 2:41 Spotify
10 3:11 Spotify
11 3:12 Spotify
12 2:48 Spotify
13 2:53 Spotify
14 2:46 Spotify
15 3:08 Spotify
16
3:22 Spotify
17 2:51 Spotify
18
3:21 Spotify
19 3:30 Spotify
20 3:13 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:58 Spotify
2 2:53 Spotify
3
feat: Noble Sissle
3:00 Spotify
4 3:10 Spotify
5
feat: Noble Sissle
2:47 Spotify
6 3:02 Spotify
7 3:38 Spotify
8 4:12 Spotify
9 3:10 Spotify
10 2:58 Spotify
11 4:03 Spotify
12 3:21 Spotify
13 3:32 Spotify
14 2:50 Spotify
15 3:03 Spotify
16 2:23 Spotify
17 1:55 Spotify
18 2:47 Spotify
19 3:11 Spotify
20 4:47 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick