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Paul Desmond: Take Ten

Album Notes

Personnel: Paul Desmond (alto saxophone); Jim Hall (guitar); Gene Cherico, Gene Wright (bass); Connie Kay (drums).

Recorded at Webster Hall, New York, New York between June 5 & 25, 1963.

Alto saxophonist Paul Desmond has been considered one of the avatars of the cool school of jazz. One of the few saxophonists of his generation to not be overly influenced by Charlie Parker, Desmond favored a sound that was somewhat mellow, suave, smooth and dry--so much so that critics and fans would liken his style to "a very dry martini." These appellations certainly weren't meant to imply that there's no emotion or swing in his playing, only that the focus is away from forced emotionalism.

TAKE TEN was recorded in 1963, with a small crew of sympatico musicians, including one of the finest mainstream jazz guitarists ever, Jim Hall. Hall and Modern Jazz Quartet drummer Connie Kay are the closest thing to "counterparts" on their instruments to the Desmond approach: tight, economical, tasteful. Everyone compliments each other perfectly. The program mixes originals, standards ("Alone Together") and several bossa nova pieces ("Samba De Orpheau," "Theme From Black Orpheus"). Desmond makes each piece his own. Nicely recorded, this album is recommended for both fans and newcomers.


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