Paul Desmond: Pure Desmond

Paul Desmond: Pure Desmond

Paul Desmond: Pure Desmond

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.”

This album is as much for jazz guitar aficionados as anything else. Also, other star players on this album include bassist Ron Carter and drummer Connie Kay.

More about this album on Discogs.

PS: Yes, Desmond wrote “Take Five,” not Brubeck, although the track was on the album Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, which went on to become one of the top grossing jazz albums of all time.






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