Sidney Bechet had an intensity in his playing that is only hinted at by his imitators.
I used to find him abrasive on the soprano, always longing for him to switch to clarinet. I don't know what happened, but now I appreciate his playing on both instruments equally. Perhaps our musical tastes mature just as our tastes for food? I couldn't stand olives as a kid, now I adore them.
I believe that one of the most challenging things in music is to play a melody well. Here is a lesson in just that:
Now watch it again to see those naughty sax players joking around while the master plays!