The great soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet is featured on four formerly rare sessions recorded in Paris and London during October and November 1949. At 50 years old, Bechet was at the peak of his powers. He is heard on two occasions with clarinetist Claude Luter's band (which on one of the dates has two trumpets/cornets); jamming with a quartet consisting of pianist Eddie Bernard, bassist Pierre Michelot, and drummer Kenny Clarke; and sitting in with trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton's group. There is plenty of excitement heard throughout these 24 performances and, although the supporting cast is excellent, Bechet dominates throughout. Highlights include "Maple Leaf Rag," "Panama," "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," "After You've Gone," "Some of These Days," and "Everybody Loves My Baby."
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow