2. Un Ange comme ça
3. South Rampart Street Parade
4. Blues dans le Blues
5. A Moi d’payer
6. Trottoirs de Paris
L’Inspecteur connait la Musique
7. Les Hommes sont généreux/ L’Enchainée de l’amour
8. I Had It but it’s All Gone Now
9. Halle Hallelujah
Ah! Quelle Equipe!
10. Jumpin’ Jack
11. Passport to Paradis
12. Coquin de Boubou
13. Haou Haou Coucou
14. Chacun sa chance
15. Shake ‘em Up
16. Un Coup de cafard
17. Sans vous fâcher, répondez moi
18. Le Train du vieux noir
19. Le Bidon
Did you know that Sidney Bechet was a film star? Neither did I, but the evidence is on this CD, which contains music from three films in which Bechet
appeared. Sidney wasn’t especially a star, as he usually appeared simply as a musician playing at a club. He had already performed as a musician in films
in 1952 and 1953. Early in 1955 he had a part in a melodrama entitled Série Noire. In May 1955 he appeared in a film called L’Inspecteur connait la Musique, also known as Blues, in which Bechet was accidentally killed by a character played by clarinettist
Claude Luter. In 1957 (not 1956, as the sleeve-notes aver) Bechet had a role in Ah Quelle Equipe!, his last movie appearance.
The people involved in these recordings are not listed, although clarinettist Claude Luter is definitely present. But the main musical interest is Bechet,
to the forefront as usual. In the first of these three films his keening soprano sax rises above the other musicians in the emotive Pourtant and A moi d’payer, and he plays with exciting fluency in Un ange comme ça.
Sidney was given a stronger role in the second film, where I Had It but It’s All Gone is a revised version of a tune that Bechet recorded with Bob
Wilber in 1947. The opening melody moves from the plaintive Les Hommmes sont généreux to the optimistic L’Enchainée de l’amour. Halle Hallelujah is a fast, bright piece based on the chords of I Got Rhythm which I know better as Dans les rues d’Antibes.
Ah! Quelle Equipe!
has no fewer than eleven songs from the film. They are a typical Bechet-style mix of melancholy tunes and rousing up-tempo numbers. I particularly like the
drum breaks in Shake ‘em Up. Un coup de cafard sounds very much like St James Infirmary. Containing 64 minutes of
memorable music, this album is not only a historical document but also a mixture of performances by Sidney Bechet at his very best.