Sydney Bechet: The Grand Master Of The Soprano Saxophone
The Bechet-Singleton collaboration “Jungle Drums” has delightful solos by the two reeds, along with Singleton’s exotic tom-toms. Six tracks come from a 1947 quartet with pianist Lloyd Phillips, bassist Pops Foster, and either Freddie Moore or Arthur Herbert on drums. Bechet’s swinging tribute to a legendary jazzman, “Buddy Bolden Stomp”, a romp through “Just One Of Those Things”, and a heartfelt arrangement of “Laura” are the highlights of this session.
Another 1947 session gives a preview of the future of classic jazz, featuring a sextet led by Bechet’s star pupil, a young Bob Wilber, along with Dick Wellstood, who would rise to fame as a master stride interpreter. Bechet plays soprano sax and Wilber sticks to clarinet on two numbers, though they switch roles on “Kansas City Man Blues”. While Wilber doesn’t have Bechet’s strong vibrato on soprano sax, they are harder to tell apart on clarinet.
“The Grand Master Of The Soprano Saxophon” – Sidney Bechet (ss); Ernie Caceras (bs); Bob Mielke (tb); Bob Wilber (cl); Lloyd Phillips, Dave Bowman (p); Leonard Ware (el-g); Henry Turner, George „Pops“ Foster (b); Zutty Singleton, Arthur Herbert (dr), a.o
Recording: November 1938 and July 1947