Paul Desmond

The Complete RCA Victor Recordings

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This set is similar to but not exactly the same as a limited-edition Mosaic six-LP box from the early 1990s. The latter included a Warner Bros. LP that is replaced here by a Paul Desmond date with strings, plus one song formerly bypassed. Desmond recorded fairly regularly from 1961-65 for RCA while on brief hiatuses from Dave Brubeck's constantly traveling quartet. Included on this five-CD set are the complete contents of Desmond Blue (the string session with suitable arrangements by Bob Prince), Take Ten, Glad to Be Happy, Bossa Antigua and Easy Living; there are no previously unreleased selections. Most of the songs feature the cool-toned altoist in a pianoless quartet with the very complementary guitarist Jim Hall. The interplay between the two stylists is so subtle and logical that it takes several listens to fully appreciate their magic. Frequently exquisite music, mixing together standards with some melodic originals.

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