Sidney Bechet

One Man Band

Sidney Bechet (1897 –1959) was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer. He was one of the first important soloists in jazz history. At the age of six, he started performing with his brother’s band at a family birthday party.  

Sidney Bechet played in many New Orleans ensembles using the improvisational techniques of the time: obbligatos with scales and arpeggios and varying the melody.

Bechet was one of the first musicians to develop the Swing style of jazz; he influenced the widening difference between jazz and ragtime. Bechet spent much of his later life in France. Wikipedia

As an early experiment in overdubbing, Bechet recorded a version of the pop song “The Sheik of Araby”, playing six different instruments: clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano, bass, and drums. 

I started by playing The Sheik on piano, and played the drums while listening to the piano. I meant to play all the rhythm instruments, but got all mixed up and grabbed my soprano, then the bass, then the tenor saxophone, and finally finished up with the clarinet.

Quote: Sidney Bechet

Listen to Sidney Bechet’s One Man Band: