Bob Wilber’s Bechet Legacy: The Hamburg Concert

This disc derives from a 1995 concert in Hamburg. Nine of the 16 numbers were either by Bechet or associated with him by his performance. “Si Tu Vois Ma Mere” (“If You See My Mother”), new to this writer, has a pretty melody on which Wilber and Randy Sandke (trumpet) play movingly. Shane is dependably on piano, and the rhythm section is enhanced by Butch Miles on drums.

No one has done more to perpetuate Bechet’s memory than Wilber, whose own instrumental mastery has long enabled him to rise above the fickle fashions of jazz. It is worth remembering that in the ’30s Bechet was scorned because of his broad vibrato by musicians and fans alike. The truth comes around…and time will tell.