• Short Summary

    American Sidney Bechet, 'King of France' and one of the few remaining original New Orleans Jazzmen, was buried May 19 in pouring rain at the Catholic Church of Garches, a Paris suburb. 2,000 musicians and fans followed the cortege in silence, not a note of the blues or graveside dirges, traditional with the burial of New Orleans jazzmen, was heard.

  • Description

    American Sidney Bechet, 'King of France' and one of the few remaining original New Orleans Jazzmen, was buried May 19 in pouring rain at the Catholic Church of Garches, a Paris suburb. 2,000 musicians and fans followed the cortege in silence, not a note of the blues or graveside dirges, traditional with the burial of New Orleans jazzmen, was heard. Bechet's estranged German-born wife, Elizabeth, and his long-standing housekeeper, Jacqueline, forbade them.

    The last great jazz musician to be buried in Paris, Django Rienhardt, the gypsy guitarist, was laid to rest with the blues filling the air. For Bechet, a silent tribute. As Holy Water was sprinkled on the coffin umbrellas instead of instruments bobbed to and fro.

    Bechet, recently converted to Roman Catholicism, died of Cancer on his 62nd birthday, last week. He settled in France just after the last war and became the fountain-head of French New Orleans-style jazz. His career stretched back over fifty years, from the time his father taught him to play clarinet in New Orleans. Bechet's technique was unorthodox, as was that of other great jazz musicians such as Bix Biederbeck. He soon concentrated on the soprano saxophone, and his rasping vibrato style on this instrument will long be remembered.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAWD1R02AFU4M6I3EWBDCMLTXX
    Media URN:
    VLVAWD1R02AFU4M6I3EWBDCMLTXX
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    20/05/1959
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:00:46:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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