Sunday, November 2, 2014

Parisians Favorite Saxophonist

On Saturdays french seminar the main focus to me was on modernism. What I enjoyed becoming knowledgeable most was jazz and classical music. Classical music was formal type of music that was popular during the 20th century; it was considered exclusive and was usually listened to people of higher statuses. The composers who wrote classical were paid high amounts of money to write it. Then there was jazz, jazz music being more inclusive and was considered informal. Patrons that listened to this were diverse, socially and culturally. People who played jazz did not get as much money as those that played classical music being that they would just get money from those that attended the club they were at. Learning about the differences of jazz and classical an introduction of Sidney Bechet was given. 
Wikkimedia Commons: Nard the Bard
Bechet was a phenomenal saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer and is said to be one of the first important soloists in jazz. As a teenager Bechet would hang out with the most popular bands in New Orleans, he was so good at playing the clarinet that he ended up going overseas to perform. Sidney Bechet started out as a clarinet player, but the saxophone became his main instrument after purchasing one while he was over in London. In 1925 traveled around Europe in 1928, he led his own small band at the famous Bricktop’s Club in Montmartre, Paris. Reading about him I automatically found interest in him being that I also play the clarinet and then for his confidence shown in the quote “Sidney Bechet never plays the wrong chord” having an altercation with someone who claimed his playing was off. After him saying that there was a shootout that ended up having Bechet In jail for 11 months, having wounded a woman that was nearby. During his lifetime Bechet would go back and forth to U.S and Europe playing his music. In the last years of Bechet's life he recorded many hit records in France. 
Flicker Creative Commons: Vieilles Annonces
On Bechet's birthday May 14th, 1959, turning 62 he passed away from lung cancer. Till this day he has a lasting legacy you can hear his songs on the soundtrack of Princess and the Frog, when we're human, then also in Midnight in Paris, Si Tu Vois Ma Mere, directed by Woody Allen. Woody Allen also a clarinetist admired Bechet's his work so much that he even named his child after him. One thing I took from Bechet was his quote stated in his autobiography Treat It Gentle, “Inspiration, that's another thing. The world has to give you that, the way you live in it, what you find in your living. The world gives it to you if you're ready. But it's not just has to be put inside you and you have to be ready to have it put there. All that happens to you makes a feeling out of your life and you play the feeling.” this quote stuck out to me because my inspiration is what I am looking for and this opened my eyes a little. Learning about Sidney Bechet I found that he is a very wise intellectual man, especially when it came down to music. This excites me with possibly going to Paris because it showed me that not every country plays different types of music so you could easily have a connection through music. I never really thought about the kind of music was listened to in France so this made me fascinated with the music artist that are now famous in Paris. Then I wondered who is now the new most famous artist in Paris from America today?


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