Really the Blues (Remastered) Sydney Bechet

Cover Really the Blues (Remastered)

Album info



Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • 1Out of the Gallion03:24
  • 2Blues of the Roaring Twenties03:59
  • 3Tommy's Blues04:01
  • 4Minor Swoon03:03
  • 5Jelly Roll03:40
  • 6Groovin' the Minor03:21
  • 7Really the Blues: No. 1. —03:11
  • 8Really the Blues: No. 2. —02:52
  • 9Funky Butt04:12
  • 10Perdido Street Stomp02:20
  • 11Where Am I?04:43
  • 12I'm Speaking My Mind03:44
  • Total Runtime42:30

Info for Really the Blues (Remastered)

This is a historic album of recordings made in the late ‘40s. If ever a man qualified as a jazz master it was Bechet. He ranks perhaps as the second greatest genius in jazz history, after New Orleans’s most celebrated son, Louis Armstrong.

The most striking element of Bechet’s playing is his unremitting continuity of invention. It is as if the music is there inside him, already assembled, and he has only to put the soprano saxophone to his mouth for it all to flow forth in a joyous cascade.

Sidney Bechet was one of the great jazz virtuosi who helped perfect the art of solo improvisations.

Mezzrow-Bechet Septet:
Milton Mezzrow, clarinet
Sidney Bechet, soprano saxophone
Oran “Lips” Page, trumpet
Sammy Price, piano
Danny Barker, guitar
George “Pops” Foster, double bass
Sidney “Big Sid” Catlett, drums

Track 4: Minor Swoon
Recorded New York, July 31st, 1945

Mezzrow – Bechet Quintet:
Milton Mezzrow, clarinet
Sidney Bechet, soprano saxophone
Fitz Weston, piano
George “Pops” Foster, double bass
Kaiser Marshall, drums
Track 5: Jelly Roll
Track 10: Perdido Street Stomp
Recorded in New York, Aug. 29th, 1945

Same personnel:
Track 1: Out of the Gallion
Recorded New York Aug. 30th 1945

Mezzrow – Bechet Quintet:
Milton Mezzrow, clarinet
Sidney Bechet, soprano saxophone, clarinet*
Wesley “Sox” Wilson, piano
Wellman Braud, bass
Warren “Baby” Dodds, drums
Track 7: Really the Blues (Part 1*)
Track 8: Really the Blues (Part 2)
Track 6: Groovin’ the Minor
Recorded New York, Sept. 18th 1945

Mezzrow – Bechet Quintet:
Milton Mezzrow, clarinet
Sidney Bechet, soprano saxophone
Sammy Price, piano
George “Pops” Foster, double bass
Kaiser Marshall, drums
Track 11: Where Am I
Track 3: Tommy’s Blues
Recorded Chicago December 18th, 1947

Same personnel:
Track 12: I’m Speaking My Mind
Recorded Chicago December 19th, 1947

Same personnel:
Track 9: Funky Butt
Track 2: Blues of Roaring Twenties
Recorded Chicago December 20th, 1947

Digitally remastered

Mezz Mezzrow
(November 9, 1899 – August 5, 1972) was born in Chicago to a poor Jewish immigrant family. As a juvenile delinquent, he was in and out of reformatory schools and prisons where he was exposed to jazz and blues music. He began to play the clarinet and decided to adopt the African American culture as his own. He became a ubiquitous figure on the Chicago jazz scene of the 1920’s and ran in the circles of musicians that included King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Jimmy Noone, Al Jolson, Baby Dodds, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Bellson and many others. Mezz was an advocate for the pure New Orleans jazz style. Mezz became close friends with Louis Armstrong and later became his personal assistant. In the late thirties, Mezz moved to Harlem in New York City and married an African American woman. He continued to play and also organize recording sessions with many great artists. Mezz Mezzrow also became famous as a marijuana dealer and advocated for the use of the herb as a healthy alternative to alcohol and other drugs. His product was so well known in the jazz community that musicians called it “mezz”, “the mighty mezz” or “mezz-rolls”, as in marijuana cigarettes.

Above everything Mezz Mezzrow was an advocate for integration and equal rights at time well before the movement of the 1960’s. Eddie Condon said of Mezz Mezzrow: “When he fell through the Mason-Dixie line he just kept going". Mezz was the original hipster, slang master, jazz musician and bohemian spirit.

Although he was a decent clarinetist and saxophonist, Mezz Mezzrow is remembered today primarily for his autobiography "Really the Blues", and for rejecting White society and embracing African-American culture, to the extent that he actually believed that he was Black. In the 1920s he was part of the White Chicago jazz scene, played with the Austin High Gang and recorded with the Jungle Kings and the Chicago Rhythm Kings. In 1927 he moved to New York and played with Eddie Condon. In the 1930s he led a few swing-oriented dates with his integrated band The Disciples of Swing and recorded his signature tune Really The Blues with the Tommy Ladnier Orchestra. The French critic Hugues Panassie put together some sessions that featured Mezzrow and others. Mezzrow had his own King Jazz label during 1945-47. In 1948 Mezzrow moved to France where he recorded with Lee Collins and others.

Booklet for Really the Blues (Remastered)

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