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An alto saxophone tone as dry and bright as a martini with the sun shining through it.
I have been listening to this disc over and over and over. My knowledge of Desmond is admitted limited. Sure he penned "Take Five" and was a mainstay with Brubeck in the '50s and '60s. And sure he has had a moon of ink spilled on his behalf. But I have been listening to this disc over and over and over.
Joel Dorn is just hunting for ways to repackage music in new and inventive ways. For his LabelM, a label that already sports such series as "Live From the Left Bank", "LabelM Live", "Album Classics", Mr. Dorn has inaugurated his Lemme Tell Ya 'Bout... series. Briefly, he asks friends in the industry to suggest a collection of tunes to be included on the disc, makes some suggestions and voila, a fine collection like Lemme Tell Ya 'Bout Desmond: the Music of Paul Desmond is born. The songs on this disc are culled from a variety of Desmond releases, which include, Pure Desmond (Columbia 40806), Skylark (Columbia 44170), Take Ten (RCA, Bluebird 2569), among others. The selections plainly show that Desmond's best environment for playing was the guitar trio. "I'm Old Fashioned", "Skylark" and "Bossa Antigua" illustrate this in spades.
The Lemme Tell Ya 'Bout ...series provides an informative springboard for those listeners who want to have an introduction to an artist without spending a lot of time and money ferreting out essential recordings. This recording in particular shows a Paul Desmond sans Dave Brubeck as a monumental stylist unencumbered by his surroundings.
Track Listing: I'm Old Fashioned; Skylark; Take Ten; Stardust; When Joanna Loved Me; Desmond Blue; Taste Of Honey; Bossa Antigua; The Night Has A Thousand Eyes; Alianca; El Condor Pasa; Samba With Some Barbeque (Total Time: 57:33)
Personnel: Paul Desmond: Alto Saxophone; Ed Bickert, Gene Bertoncini; Jim Hall; Guitar; Connie Kay, Jack DeJohnette, Robert Thomas: Drums; Ron Carter, Eugene Wright, Milt Hinton, Wendell Marshall: Bass; Bob James, Piano; Gerry Mulligan: Baritone Saxophone.