Three years after Gerry Mulligan initially sat in with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, the baritone saxophonist arrived at a point where he could perform alongside Brubeck's alto saxophonist, Paul Desmond, for this much anticipated session. When legal issues, wranglings with producer Norman Granz, and the question of which record label would subsidize and release this album were resolved, the two saxophonists went ahead to produce a delightful program of standards and originals where their more playful sides could fully blossom…
THE COMPLETE RCA VICTOR RECORDINGS includes the five solo albums Desmond released on RCA's Bluebird imprint in the early 1960s: DESMOND BLUE, TAKE TEN, GLAD TO BE UNHAPPY, BOSSA ANTIGUA and EASY LIVING. Between 1962 and 1964 Paul Desmond , Dave Brubeck's alto saxophonist (and composer of "Take Five"), recorded five remarkable albums for RCA with guitarist Jim Hall. (Listeners might recall that the inimitable Hall also recorded with Sonny Rollins for RCA during the same period.) Luckily, RCA has seen fit to reissue the Desmond-Hall sessions in an attractive 5-CD box. Of these, only the first session, DESMOND BLUE, was arranged for strings. Otherwise it's just Desmond and Hall, a few good bass players and the great MJQ drummer Connie Kay, whom Desmond long revered for his subtle touch.
Although Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond made many rewarding recordings together, this was their only duo album; it was inspired by several duo performances on board a cruise ship. Their magical ESP is evident from start to finish. Brubeck's lyricism throughout these sessions will surprise critics who label him as "bombastic," while Desmond, known for his pure dry-toned alto sax, throws a few curves to his longtime fans.
Take Five: The Best Of Cool Saxophone of Paul Desmond (Paul Emil Breitenfeld) is the story of a jazz artist who transcended genres to establish one of the most immediately recognizable sounds in all of music. Desmond is simply delightful, he’s so lyrical and his lines are so imaginative.
The most complete package to date of Paul Desmond's RCA works. 6-CD set with all six original albums he cut for the RCA inprint (five of the six albums feature melodic guitar giant Jim Hall, the ideal musical partner for Desmond). All come in nice mini-LP replica sleeves reproducing original cover art, including 24 bonus tracks, and a comprenhensive booklet with full discographical details, rare in-studio photos and liner notes by Grammy-winning box producer Richard Seidel.