291

Paul Desmond: Cool Imagination

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Paul Desmond: Cool Imagination Anyone remotely familiar with “Take Five” will recognize Paul Desmond’s dry, feathery alto instantly. However, Desmond often lived in Brubeck’s shadow, and many may not know that Desmond also recorded several fine albums as a leader as well. Brubeck and Desmond had an unwritten contract that the altoist would not play with any other pianist, and Desmond was lucky enough to enlist guitarist Jim Hall as a sideman. Hall has a light, nuanced style more suited to Desmond’s approach than Rollins’ on the previous album, and the two crafted five albums of excellent understated cool jazz.

Cool Imagination is probably all the Desmond that anyone will really need, although the devoted will want to seek out the excellent RCA set that collects all of Desmond’s recordings with Hall. If there’s a fault to this compilation, it’s that the selection leans too heavily on the ballads and the whole thing comes off as a bit maudlin and sentimental; only “Alone Together” documents Desmond’s ability to swing at a faster tempo. Also, the selections from the over-represented Desmond Blue, saturated by orchestration from Bob Prince, sound like the soundtrack to Disney movies and may not be to everyone’s taste. Also included are two fine tracks featuring Gerry Mulligan, off of Two Of A Mind, a disc not included in the RCA box.

Despite its faults, Cool Imagination demonstrates how Hall’s shimmering chords and Desmond’s cool alto were a great match. Fans of Brubeck will definitely enjoy this collection, as will anyone who enjoys the cool school of jazz improvisation.


See Combing the Bluebird Catalog for related reviews.
Visit www.bluebirdjazz.com on the web.


Track Listing: 1. Imagination 2. A Ship Without A Sail 3. Desmond Blue 4. Glad To Be Unhappy 5. That Old Feeling 6. Out Of Nowhere 7. Samba Cantina 8. Here

Personnel: Paul Desmond-alto sax; various others

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Bluebird | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "I Just Want to Get Paid!" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Want to Get Paid!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 15, 2016
Read "Cosmic Nickelodeon" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmic Nickelodeon
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 14, 2016
Read "Live At Blues Alley" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Blues Alley
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Eleven Promises" CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Promises
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Troy Collins
Published: March 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!