Noble Sissle, a notable songwriter and a personable singer, was one of the few bandleaders wise enough to give the great soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet regular employment during the early years of the Depression. All of the music from four of his big band sessions (two from 1931 plus one apiece from 1934 and 1936) is included on this valuable but long-out-of-print LP. Bechet's later dates with Sissle (from 1937-38) have been made more readily available by Columbia and Decca. Bechet has some solo space on most of the selections on this LP, most notably during two versions of "Loveless Love," "Basement Blues," "Roll On, Mississippi, Roll On" and "Polka Dot Rag." In addition to vocals by Sissle and Billy Banks, Lena Horne is heard on her recording debut, and there are some spots on the 1931 dates for trumpeter Tommy Ladnier. Although not as essential as Bechet's later recordings, this set is a collectors' item.
Share this page