The Paris scene of the postwar years had a real love affair with Sidney Bechet
– and it was in Paris that Bechet
cut some of his finest recordings of later years! This set brings together material from Bechet
's first 2 sessions in France – a 1948 date that features a small orchestra of French players, supporting Bechet
's work on soprano sax; and a 1949 session done with a quartet that includes Kenny Clark on drums. Bechet
's soprano is recorded beautifully throughout – with a free-swinging sound that's sentimental, but never too much so – and a sense of tone that clearly had a huge influence on many players to come. The CD is completed by an additional 6 tracks from the contemporaneous group of Claude Luter, a French clarinetist who worked in a traditional jazz style that was similar to that of Bechet
. All material is originally from 78rpm singles on the Blue Star label, and remastered here for the set – with titles that include "High Society", "On The Sunny Side Of The Street", "It Had To Be You", "Ooh Boogie", "After You've Gone", "Margie", "Gatemout", and "South African Blues".