Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Paul Desmond
Song:That Old Feeling
Alto sax player Paul Desmond is probably best known for his days with Dave Brubeck. He seemed to prefer work as a sideman. He was born Paul Emil Breitenfeld Nov. 25, 1924 in San Francisco. Desmond was a proponent of what was known as West Coast Jazz that was more lyrical or "cool" as opposed to the high energy of bebop. He met pianist Dave Brubeck in the late 40s and they played together frequently starting in 1951. Of course their big mainstream hit was the 1959 Desmond composition Take Five. Desmond signed a solo contract with RCA in 1963 and formed a quartet with guitarist Jim Hall, drummer Connie Kay of the Modern Jazz Quartet and bassists Gene Cherico, Gene Wright & Percy Heath. Desmond wrote a very popular follow up to Take Five called Take Ten. Easy Living is a 1966 album of leftovers compiled by RCA after the group split up. It's worth a listen. RCA released it on CD in 1990 with a new cover and two bonus tracks. They rereleased it in 2001 with the original cover art, detailed liner notes and an additional alternate take. That version is the cover I'm including because that's what is currently available. Paul Desmond recorded occasionally as a leader but more frequently as a sideman until his death on May 30, 1977 of lung cancer at age 52. Paul Desmond's sound was very smooth and he used to say he wanted it to be like a dry martini. I'll go along with that. Here's Paul Desmond performing Emily at the 1975 Monterey Jazz Festival.