Paul Desmond’s sound is immediately recognizable. The alto sax tone notwithstanding, his playing demonstrates a keen contrast of simultaneous control and improvisation. His style has be likened to smooth, feathery, lyrical, or in his own words: “like a dry martini.” He is perhaps best known for his work with Dave Brubeck, typically playing in a quartet (piano, drums, sax, and bass). For Pure Desmond, he put together his own lineup, but without piano and instead the Canadian jazz guitarist Ed Bikert giving us what sounds like nearly equal playing time for both Bikert and Desmond. From the liner notes:
“I consider it Ed’s album, really” [Desmond] said. “He’s never recorded in the United States before, and I wanted people to hear him.”
More about this album on Discogs.