[Dixielandjazz] Sidney Bechet

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 5 15:49:57 PST 2004

> Andy.Ling at Quantel.Com wrote
> Just to be clear - Did he pronounce with the two SHs as in
> Bash-Shay or was it more like Bash-ay or even Ba-Shay

Hi Andy & Listmates:

 "Bash - a".   Emphasis on the first syllable, the "a" being a "long a" and pronounced as the "ay" in "say".

So, "BASH ay" is about as close as one can write it, given the above.

Bechet did open a jazz club under that name on Seventh Avenue in NYC circa 1924 or 1925. I'm not sure who his money partner was, and the club folded pretty quickly. It was called "CLUB BASHA", and pronounced as stated above. Maybe Bill Haesler can supply more detail if anyone is interested.

That is how he and his contemporary jazz musician friends in New York City pronounced his name then and up until his and their deaths. Occasionally in NYC, and the USA, you will come across someone who still pronounces it that way when speaking of him. However, today, most musicians and fans in the USA that I know, now pronounce it "Be SHAY". (short "e" so that  "Be" sounds like the "bu" in "bus")

Steve (I hear dead people) Barbone

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