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Fifty years after hearing Sidney Bechet (1897--1959) in 1923, Duke Ellington recalled, "I have never forgotten the power and imagination with which he played." The first great jazz soloist, Bechet was a genius of the clarinet and the notoriously difficult soprano saxophone. In a career that spanned five decades and two continents he worked with Bunk Johnson, King Oliver, Duke Ellington, Josephine Baker, Jelly Roll Morton, and Louis Armstrong. He was a giant in early New Orleans jazz and a pioneer of improvisation whose contribution to the music, from the traditional to the avant-garde, has been a vital and lasting one. This biography reveals with insight and precision the man and his music, and illuminates the many events obscured by Bechet's own highly readable but factually suspect autobiography, Treat It Gentle.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780306806780
ISBN-10: 0306806789
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Pages: 380
Imprint: Da Capo Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 1-Mar-1996
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - John Chilton

A professional trumpeter and jazz writer, John Chilton is the author of Billie's Blues, Who's Who of Jazz, and with Max Jones, Louis: The Louis Armstrong Story.

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