Sidney Bechet (May 14, 1897 – May 14, 1959) was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer. He was one of the first important soloists in jazz (beating cornetist and trumpeter Louis Armstrong to the recording studio by several months and later playing duets with Armstrong), and was perhaps the first notable jazz saxophonist. Forceful delivery, well-constructed improvisations, and a distinctive, wide vibrato characterized Bechet's playing. Bechet's erratic temperament hampered his career, however, and not until the late 1940s did he earn wide acclaim.
Clarinettist Mezz Mezzrow was a great admirer of Sidney Bechet and made many recordings featuring himself with Bechet for his own record company, the King Jazz label, in the mid forties. This compilation includes sessions from the Mezzrow-Bechet Septet and Quintet. *”Mezz Mezzrow’s playing was not by any means in the same league as Sidney Bechet’s ... but in this set of recordings - made in New York in 1945 and Chicago two years later - Mezzrow ... works around the ever-creative Bechet but he also demonstrates a pleasant rapport ... “ - *from the new liner notes by Chris Albertson.