Sidney Bechet: Really the Blues
Really the Blues
Sidney Bechet (clarinet, soprano sax)
Classic Sides 1937-1939 (CD B) (JSP Records)
Cliff Jackson (piano), Elmer James (bass), Manzie Johnson (drums).
Composed by Mezz Mezzrow.
Recorded: New York, November 28, 1938
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
Teddy Bunn opens this track with a repeated, deep-toned figure on his guitar that sets the mood, then Tommy Ladnier takes the lead on trumpet, blowing some very smooth, soulful, bluesy lines, shadowed by Sidney Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow with nicely harmonic clarinet playing, some dipping down into the low register for extra-rich deep tones. The piece then transitions into a delightful Bechet-Mezzrow clarinet duet, Mezzrow taking the lead line (it was his composition) and Bechet adding creative harmony, the two playing in octaves at one point to provide a special dimension. Ladnier next adds further lovely, bluesy variations on the theme, followed by the clarion call of Bechet on soprano sax, playing some superb, inventive, compelling and soulful lines, backed by Ladnier, Mezzrow, et al. This is outstanding music, with Ladnier and Bechet drawing on that good ol' New Orleans blues with fine assists from Bunn and Mezzrow.
Reviewer: Dean Alger