Volume 12 in Sidney Bechet's segment of the Classics Chronological Series opens with six blustery sides recorded in New York City on April 19, 1950 by Sidney Bechet's Blue Note Jazzmen, with a feisty front line of Bechet, cornetist Wild Bill Davison, and trombonist Jimmy Archey, and a fine rhythm section in Joe Sullivan, Pops Foster, and Wilmore "Slick" Jones. Tracks seven-eleven were recorded for the Commodore label on April 27, 1950, with Davison and Bechet now bolstered by trombonist Wilbur de Paris (who sings "I'll Take That New Orleans Music"), Ralph Sutton, Jack Lesberg, and George Wettling. Listen for Bechet's clarinet on the "Jelly Roll Blues" and the "National Emblem March." The rest of the material packed into this invigorating collection comes from the Vogue catalog, and documents Bechet's adventures in Paris during September and October 1950. Surrounded by members of Claude Luter et Son Orchestre, Bechet hammered out gale force traditional jazz that went over exceptionally well with the French people. Bechet would soon take steps to settle permanently in France, where he was elevated to the status of a national treasure, as indicated by the cover photograph of him peering out from beneath a hefty bejeweled crown.
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AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf
feat: Claude Luter