Sidney Bechet: Petite Fleur


Petite Fleur


Sidney Bechet (soprano sax)


Essential Five (The Restoration Project)

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Sidney Bechet (soprano sax),

Guy Longnon (trumpet), Jean-Louis Durand (trombone), Charlie Lewis (piano), Alf “Totole” Masselier (bass), Armand Molinetti (drums)


Composed by Sidney Bechet


Recorded: Paris, January 21, 1952


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

This track is tough to rate, both because it is not really jazz and because I'm an American and the tune is quintessentially French. I review it because it represents the last major period (the 1950s) in jazz master Sidney Bechet's life, which he spent in France. Americans might recognize the tune, though, since it has served as background to French scenes in various movies.

Bechet uses his famous intense soprano-sax vibrato here to create striking aesthetic effects and express throbbing emotion. He also uses slides and swoops up and down the scale, conveying a roller coaster of feelings. The tune is really a French romantic melodrama in miniature, blown through Bechet's horn, with support from his band members; a nice piano break in the middle adds a dimension.

Reviewer: Dean Alger

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