home | timelines | CD search | book search | how to order

book search

CD search

how to order

any book ordering

terms & conditions

privacy policy

contact us


Sidney Bechet The Wizard Of Jazz
open our order page John Chilton
Da Capo, 1996 (first published in 1987)
Paperback. 347pp. b&w illustrations

Fifty years after hearing Sidney Bechet (1897-1959) in 1923, Duke Ellington recalled, "I have never forgotten the power and imagination with which he played." The first great jazz soloist, Bechet was a genius of the clarinet and the notoriously difficult soprano saxophone. In a career that spanned five decades and two continents he worked with Bunk Johnson, King Oliver, Duke Ellington, Josephine Baker, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong. Bechet was a giant in early New Orleans jazz and a pioneer of improvisation whose contribution to the music, from the traditional to the avant-garde, has been a vital and lasting one. This biography reveals with insight and precision the man and his music, and illuminates the many events obscured by Bechet's own highly readable but factually suspect autobiography, Treat it Gentle.

JOHN CHILTON, a professional trumpeter and jazz writer, is the author of Billie's Blues, Who's Who of Jazz, and with Max Jones, Louis: The Louis Armstrong Story.

"…It is amazing how much factual information Chilton has acquired and put together in this continuously flowing narrative. His information is so extensive that long periods of jazz history are brightly illuminated by it…" - STANLEY DANCE, Jazz Times

"Sidney Bechet was somehow larger than life, but Chilton sees him whole. It is equally clear that (Chilton) brings a player's perspective to his task. This reader soon became absorbed in Chilton's comments on the music and found them a useful and enlightening counterpoint to the life story…Not a false note is struck anywhere." - DAN MORGENSTERN

back to previous page


other books about Sidney Bechet:

Treat It Gentle Bechet's autobiography
The Autobiography of Pops Foster

Visit our timeline and lifeline sections to view a history of jazz and its leading players.


Search the descriptions and contents of our stock. Our author index lists authors in alphabetical order.


Search using name of artist, title, year of recording, or label. Our CD index lists main artists in alphabetical order.

© Jazzscript 2002
Albion Beatnik Bookshop, 34 Walton Street, OXFORD, United Kingdom, OX2 6AU
tel: +44 (0)7737 876213 | email