Sidney Bechet was a child prodigy in New Orleans.
He became the undisputed the king of the soprano saxophone and also one of the most innovative and original clarinetists in jazz. He brought an unequaled energy, clarity and verve to his chosen instruments, and was best known for his heavy vibrato. Along with King Oliver and Louis Armstrong, Bechet is part of the pantheon of New Orleans’ greatest jazz musicians.
Bechet was imprisoned in Paris for eleven months. In his autobiography, he wrote that he accidentally shot a woman when he was trying to shoot a musician who had insulted him. He had challenged the man to duel and said, “Sidney Bechet never plays the wrong chord.”
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