Sidney Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow

Sidney Bechet was a vibrant carrier of the New Orleans jazz tradition. He was a formidable musical force on the order of a hailstorm since he first picked up a clarinet at the age of six. With the long soprano sax jutting straight out from his round face, Bechet, having stomped out the tempo, would take whatever musicians he was playing with and hurl them into swinging. This long overdue re-release from Inner City shows Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow in a variety of settings between '44 and '47, in Chicago and New York. With 24 excellent tracks and a host of great players including Sammy Price, Pops Foster, Big Sid Catlett, Hot Lips Page, and many more, this album is a welcome addition to any jazz fan's collection.

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I'm Speaking My Mind Never Will I Forget the Blues Cow Cow Blues I Want Some I Got You Some I Finally The Blues and Freud, Part I The Blues and Freud, Part II Kaiser's Last Break Gully Low Blues Blues of the Roaring Twenties I'm Going Away From Here Breathless Blues Layin' My Rules in Blues Minor Swoon Baby I'm Cutting Out Perdido Street Stomp New Jailhouse Blues Chicago Function, Part I Chicago Function, Part II Bad Bad Baby Blues Boogin' With Big Sid De Luxe Stomp Broken Man Blues

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist No
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor Sammy Price, Pops Foster, Big Sid Catlett, Hot Lips Page


Customer Reviews (4)

"The Master"Review by Big Toots
CJ 28 Sidney Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow

If there was one characteristic about Bechet, it was that subtlety was not for Sidney. Bechet came from that New Orleans tradition that played loud and with a seriousness that made their efforts sound even louder. However, the truly amazing characteristic about Bechet’s sound is that the more forceful it became, the sweeter it was.

Covering a massive 16 tracks recorded in the mid 1940s in New York and Chicago, this pairing of clarinetist Mezzrow with Bechet (who’s predominantly on soprano sax and some clarinet) swings with an impetus and flair that is truly contagious. With Bechet really leading these dates, he wails supreme through a series of blues (“Cow Cow Blues”, "Layin’ My Rules in Blues”) and funky butt ‘Nawlins-style originals (“Cow Cow Blues,” “Minor Swoon”). Mezzrow, on the other hand is a side-ordered sideman here, doing what he can to stick with his legendary partner. The team works well together as a one-two Perdido Street punch.

The various rhythm teams accompanying Bechet help make the date quite special. “Big” Sid Catlett makes a cameo (“Boogin’ with Big Sid”) as do vocalists Pleasant Joe (“Broken Man Blues”) and Douglas Daniels (“Baby, I’m Cuttin’ Out”). All work their way winding in, around and behind the big man up front.

There’s a ton of Bechet here for lovers of same – and just about anyone with ears. Start jumpin’ with joy with this gem from Sid.
(Posted on 6/1/2015)
Sidney Bechet and Mezz MezzrowReview by Simon Sez
Sidney Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow were quite an odd couple. Bechet was a superb soprano-saxophonist and clarinetist, a true master who could blow nearly every horn player off the bandstand if he wanted to. Mezzrow was a clarinetist who had a strong feeling for the blues and New Orleans jazz even if he was just a so-so player. In 1945 Mezzrow founded the King Jazz label and during the next two years recorded a series of sessions that mostly featured him playing with Bechet.
Many of the best performances of the King Jazz label are on this Classic Jazz release. Not too surprisingly Bechet is the main star. There are also guest spots for trumpeter Hot Lips Page, pianist Sammy Price and singer Pleasant Joseph. Most of the music is blues-oriented (probably so Mezzrow could play it) and, thanks to Bechet, plenty of excitement occurs.

Simon Sez: Sidney Bechet And Mezz Mezzrow (CJ28) has the highlights of the King Jazz label, with Mezz, Bechet and Hot Lips Page rollicking on blues.
(Posted on 5/6/2014)
Review by Scott Yanow
This set contains some of the best recordings made by Mezz Mezzrow for his King Jazz label. With Sidney Bechet starring on the majority of the tracks, trumpeter Hot Lips Page a major asset on four tunes, a few piano solos by Sammy Price and two vocals from Pleasant Joe, the music is consistently swinging and blues-oriented. Individual tracks are not as memorable as the overall joyful feelings generated by this stomping music. (Posted on 6/14/2013)
Review by -Scott Yanow
The music, which often includes trumpeter Hot Lips Page, emphasizes emsembles, contains plenty of rollicking blues and near-blues, and also has features for singer Pleasant Joseph and blues-jazz pianist Sammy Price. To hear Bechet roaring in the ensembles is one of the thrills of early jazz" (Posted on 6/7/2013)

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