This second day of Black History Month 2013 is dedicated to one of my Black American heroes and a huge source of inspiration in my music – saxophonist/clarinetist Sidney Bechet from New Orleans. His song "Blue Horizon" is one of my favorite songs ever.
The picture to the left is Sidney Bechet posing with his soprano saxophone – cooler than the other side of the pillow.
Sidney was a soulful brother and one of the huge innovators in the music that came to be labeled as "jazz." He lived a full, interesting life, traveled internationally, and was known to be hot-tempered. It is told that Sidney pulled a gun on a dude who accused him of playing a wrong note. You can hear the love, pain, happiness, and anger in his music.
What really made him such an important musician was his incredible ability to improvise, which is spontaneous playing over a piece of music. He took the art of improvising in this new music that came to be labeled as "jazz" to the next level. He was the best
Sidney Bechet (May 14, 1897 – May 14, 1959) was a Black American saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer.
He was one of the first important soloists in jazz (beating cornetist and trumpeter Louis Armstrong to the recording studio by several months and later playing duets with Armstrong), and was perhaps the first notable jazz saxophonist. Forceful delivery, well-constructed improvisations, and a distinctive, wide vibrato characterized Bechet's playing.
Louis Fouché Music