DESMOND Paul 1965 - Brazil

Paul Desmond (1924-1977) came to prominence with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, which lasted from 1951 until 1967. Desmond penned the quartet's biggest hit, "Take Five", and his sound was so important to pianist Brubeck that Desmond, when recording as a leader, was contractually prohibited from employing a piano.
Desmond was born Paul Emil Breitenfeld but changed his name because he felt it wasn't suited to a musician, and reportedly picked his new name out of a telephone book.
Desmond's sound was a clear, light, and floating sound, and his style was melodic. He loved gentle ballads and would often float off into horizontal until awakened by his bandmates. Much of the success of the classic quartet was due to the superposition of his airy style over Brubeck's sometimes relatively heavy, polytonal piano work.
Desmond also collaborated with Gerry Mulligan, Jim Hall, Chet Baker, Ed Bickert and others over the years. After the break-up of the Quartet in 1967, he retired for a while, then began to resurface in occasional reunions with Brubeck, Mulligan, and Hall, in a Christmas concert with the Modern Jazz Quartet in 1971, and in other collaborations. His gift for improvised counterpoint is perhaps most notable on the two albums he recorded with Mulligan ("Mulligan-Desmond Quartet" and "Two of a Mind").
In addition to his playing, he was known for his wit, as reflected in the liner notes for his solo albums, and as recollected by others. He was rumored for several years to be writing an autobiography, but one never surfaced. He died in 1977, not of his heavy alcohol habit but of lung cancer. Desmond had been a heavy smoker. Always witty, after he was diagnosed with cancer, he expressed pleasure at the health of his liver. "Pristine, one of the great livers of our time. Awash in Dewar's and full of health." His last concert was with Brubeck in February 1977, in New York City. His fans didn't know that he was already dying. Desmond specified in his will that all proceeds from "Take Five" would go to the Red Cross following his death.

Paul DESMOND 1965 BOSSA ANTIGUA

Paul DESMOND as, Jim HALL g, Gene WRIGHT B, Connie KAY dr,

To be continued...

2 comments:

mojo said...

Loved all the bossa, but "Bossa Antigua" especially--thanks.
This is something I'd never heard, but was very interested in. Desmond has the perfect sound for Bossa.
His alto sounds like a flute at times.
(I like "Samba Cantina" so much I may record it myself...) His playing is of the highest order--but always understated. Who would risk playing like that now? ;^) "Good Taste" The words seemed stupid when I was 20... Mostly top- flight accompaniment too, except for some of Jim Hall's playing. I'm used to Bossa as played in Brasil, and he avoids the standard ways of playing rhythm guitar. That might be OK, but listen to him at the beginning of Cantina. The guitar drags the entire track down--its basically "non rhythmic". Anyway--this is my favorite solo Desmond. What are some of his best small group solo sessions?
thanks--Joel

Jazz Miscellanous said...

JOEL, GOOD YOU LIKE DESMOND. HE'S GREAT. I SEND YOU A MAIL WITH A LINK TO ANOTHER DESMOND/BRAZIL WITH A BIG BAND. INTERESTING TOO.BEST. DANIEL