He was one of the first important soloists in jazz, 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.
He was born in New Orleans, May 14, 1897.
He began his career when he was not even 19, playing in the jazz bands of Bunk Johnson and then of Clarence Williams.
From the 1920s onwards, he played mainly abroad (London & Paris) and also in New York.
In 1932 he founded The New Orleans Feetwarmers with Tommy Ladnier.
After World War II, he mostly lived in Paris where he died May 14, 1959.
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