Sidney Bechet: Blue Horizon
Sidney Bechet (clarinet)
Ken Burns Jazz: Sidney Bechet (Columbia/Legacy)
George “Pops” Foster (bass), Manzie Johnson (drums).
Recorded: New York, December 20, 1944
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
This is the ultimate mellow Sidney Bechet blues track. He gives us the richest, most sumptuous clarinet tone of his recording career, especially in the earlier going and at the end. In later parts of the song, his range of tone and timbre also adds wonderful nuance and texture. He offers one chorus after another of beautifully rendered and shaped lines, creatively developing one thematic variation after another. All the while, bassist Pops Foster, drummer Manzie Johnson and pianist Art Hodes keep a steady-stridin' rhythm at a slow tempo to provide a fine foundation. Trumpeter Sidney de Paris, trombonist Vic Dickenson, and Hodes, each a virtuoso in his own right, stick to subtle support tones, harmonies and contrapuntal lines.
Reviewer: Dean Alger