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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


Paul Desmond

Pure Desmond

CTI 5127882



    1. Squeeze Me
    2. I’m Old Fashioned
    3. Nuages
    4. Why Shouldn’t I
    5. Everything I Love
    6. Warm Valley
    7. Till the Clouds Roll By
    8. Mean to Me
    9. Theme from M.A.S.H
    10. Wave
    11. Nuages (Alt. Take)
    12. Squeeze Me (Alt. Take)
    13. Till the Clouds Roll By (Alt. Take)

Paul Desmond – alto
Ed Bickert – guitar
Ron Carter – bass
Connie Kay – drums

This is a really nice sound Paul Desmond’s lyrical alto playing matched with the fine guitar of Ed Bickert, Ron Carter on bass and the MJQ’s Connie Kay on drums. Paul Desmond had tried the Creed Taylor format on an earlier album ‘Skylark’ and rejected it for the more conventional jazz line-up we find on this album. The musicians on this set are all well known, at that time Ed Bickert was the newcomer, but as he was a recommendation of super guitarist Jim Hall and that was enough for Desmond, the result proves the point.

The programme selection also helps to bring the best from all the musicians, there are some well known standards, a little known Ellington composition plus Wave from Jobim and Mandell’s theme from M.A.S.H.

The alternative takes demonstrate that these guys were real improvisers and not just people who learned some stuff by heart.

Paul Desmond was a unique voice in jazz that is sadly missed, I listened to a lot of his work with Brubeck whilst recovering from an operation in hospital and found the more I listened the more his playing fascinated me.

After he left Brubeck, Desmond made several albums as a leader, this one would get my vote as the most successful. Listen to his crystal clear sound and immaculate phrasing on Wave, you wonder how this track could have possibly missed the original release of the album in 1975.

Highly recommended.

Don Mather


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