The jazz clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet, b. New Orleans, May 14, 1897, d. May 14, 1959, began playing clarinet as a child and by the time he was 17 had performed with every major New Orleans jazz band. The first JAZZ musician to make serious use of the soprano saxophone, Bechet was famous as the creator of long, fluid, intensely melodic improvisations and for his unique vibrato tone, which made everything he played recognizably his own. Highly acclaimed in Europe, Bechet lived in France from 1928 until his death


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