Paul Desmond

Paul Desmond Quintet

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Paul Desmond's first solo album veers somewhat away from what he was doing in the Dave Brubeck Quartet at the time, but not so far as to stray completely from the Brubeck orbit. In fact, side one amounts to a partial reunion of members of the old Brubeck Octet, with tenor saxophonist David Van Kriedt contributing all five compositions and Dick Collins offering mellow trumpet, while Bob Bates (bass) and Joe Dodge (drums) from the Brubeck Quartet underpin everything with a solid, panther-like, walking bass tread. The above tracks are very much anchored in West Coast cool, interlaced with lots of relaxed, entertaining contrapuntal play. Side two is in another world altogether, retaining Bates and Dodge, adding the guitar of Barney Kessel and most crucially, a cooing easy listening vocal sextet. Two sides of the same period piece, no? Yet Desmond sounds erudite, mocking and beautiful throughout, while also writing the first of many sets of marvelously wry liner notes. This music was first issued on a 10" LP and now occupies part of the Quintet/Quartet CD on OJC.