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
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
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.