Dave Brubeck & Paul Desmond – At Wilshire Ebell (1953)

FrontCover1Dave Brubeck was a pioneer in the presentation of intimate concerts in colleges and universities and in the better small concert halls. The show at the Wilshire Ebell theatre, in Los Angeles, was one of the later, and probably one of Brubecks biggest personal triumphs to date.

It set high artistic standards mainly thanks to the college students (UCLA) who were aiming to bring good jazz groups to the creative atmosphere of the concert stage.

The event was recorded by Dick Bock. That year 1953, the Brubeck Quartet won both the Down Beat popularity poll, and the Down Beat critics poll. After this, he would soon become the most popular jazz artist since Benny Goodman. (promotion text)

The tune selection is rewarding, and Paul Desmond’s beautifully conceived and played solos are such a treat. Dave’s resoundiing playing and inspiration are wonderful and bass & drums are swingin’!

It’s great to hear this great group ‘live’ especially at this period – a great evening of memorable jazz by such marvelous artists. (by Bill Petersonon)


The red vinyl edition

One of the rarest of all early Dave Brubeck recordings, this Fantasy LP features pianist Brubeck, altoist Paul Desmond, bassist Ron Crotty and drummer Lloyd Davis in top form on six standards.

Although Brubeck would record most of this material again (including “Let’s Fall in Love,” “Stardust” and “All the Things You Are”), these versions are often quite a bit different than the more familiar recordings.

There was plenty of magical interplay to be heard during that era between Brubeck and Desmond, making this set worth an extensive search. (by Scott Yanow)


CD Front+Back Cover

Dave Brubeck (piano)
Ron Crotty (bass)
Lloyd Davis (drums)
Paul Desmond (saxophone)


01. I’ll Never Smile Again (Lowe) 7.55
02. Let’s Fall In Love (Arlen) 4.37
03. Stardust (Carmichael/Parrish) 6.33
04. All The Things You Are (Kern/Hammerstein) 6.54
05. Why Do I Love You (Kern) 2.44
06. Too Marvelous For Words (Whiting) 8.06
07. Blue Moon (Rodgers/Hart) 8.10
08. Let’s Fall In Love (Arlen) 7.13
09. Tea For Two (Youmans) 6.59
10. Jeepers Creepers (Warren) 7.26
11. My Heart Stood Still (Rodgers/Hart) 3.24

Tracks 1 to 6: Wilshire Ebell, Los Angeles, July 20, 1953
Tracks 7 to 10: Surf Club, Los Angeles, February 1953
Track 10: Black Hawk, San Francisco, September 1953
Track 11: Bill Bate’s home studio, Los Angeles, circa December 1953



Musicians Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond

Paul Desmond & Dave Brubeck

Paul Desmond – From The Hot Afternoon (1969)

DesmondHotAfternoonFCPaul Desmond’s first genuine all-Brazilian album under the Creed Taylor signature was a beauty, a collection of songs by the then-moderately known Edu Lobo and the emerging giant Milton Nascimento, then only in his early twenties. All Desmond has to do is sit back and ride the Brazilian grooves while lyrically ruminating on whatever pops into his head. It sounds so effortless — until you try it yourself. The swirling, often gorgeous orchestral arrangements are by Don Sebesky (one CD edition mistakenly gives Claus Ogermann credit on the cover), Airto Moreira leads the samba-flavored percussion forces, and Lobo and his wife Wanda de Sah appear on three of Lobo’s four songs. Lobo’s “To Say Goodbye,” “Circles,” and “Martha and Romao” have exactly the brand of wistful sadness that Desmond could communicate so well; on the former, de Sah has to sing well below the register with which she is comfortable, and the strain is painfully obvious. Some of Nascimento’s best early tunes are here, including the tense title track, the popping “Catavento,” and “Canto Latino.” “Catavento” inspires a particularly inventive solo from Desmond where he pulls out one of his age-old tricks, quoting “St. Thomas.” The recent Verve By Request edition adds no less than six alternate takes to the package. (by Richard S. Ginell)


Phil Bodner (saxophone, clarinet, oboe)
Jimmy Buffington (french Horn)
Ron Carter (bass)
Paul Desmond (saxophone)
Patrick Rebillot (piano)
Dorio Ferreira (guitar)
Paul Faulise (trombone)
Don Hammond (flute)
Jack Jennings (percussion)
Margaret Ross (harp)
Hubert Laws (flute)
Edu Lobo (guitar, vocals)
George Marge (saxophone, clarinet, óboe)
Marky Markowitz (trumpet)
Airto Moreira (drums, percussion)
Wanda De Sah (vocals)
Marvin Stamm (Trumpet and Flugelhorn)
Stan Webb Jr. (flute, percussion)

01. Outubro (Brant/Nascimento) 2.55
02. Gira Girou (Nascimento) 4.30
03. Faithful Brother (Nascimento) 3.09
04. To Say Goodbye (Lobo) 3.58
05. From the Afternoon (Nascimento) 3.30
06. Circles (Lobo) 3.42
07. Martha & Romeu (Lobo) 3.03
08. Catavento (Naswcimento) 2.45
09. Canto Latino (Nascimento) 4.21
10. Cyristall Illusions (Lobo/Guanieri/Hall) 4.04
11. Gira Girou (alternative take) (Nascimento) 4.14
12. Faithful Brother (alternative take) (Nascimento) 2.38
13. From The Hot Afternoon (alternative take) (Nascimento) 3.40
14. Catavento (alternative take) (Nascimento) 2.22
15. Canto Latino/alternative take) (Nascimento) 3.52
16. From The Hot Afternoon (alternative take) (Nascimento) 2.38


Paul Desmond – Take Ten (1963)

FrontCover1Now listeners enter the heart of the Paul Desmond/Jim Hall sessions, a great quartet date with Gene Cherico manning the bass (Gene Wright deputizes on the title track) and MJQ drummer Connie Kay displaying other sides of his personality. Everyone wanted Desmond to come up with a sequel to the monster hit “Take Five”; and so he did, reworking the tune and playfully designating the meter as 10/8. Hence “Take Ten,” a worthy sequel with a solo that has a Middle-Eastern feeling akin to Desmond’s famous extemporaneous excursion with Brubeck in “Le Souk” back in 1954. It was here that Desmond also unveiled a spin-off of the then-red-hot bossa nova groove that he called “bossa antigua” (a sardonic play-on-words meaning “old thing”), which laid the ground for Desmond’s next album and a few more later in the decade. Two of the best examples are his own tunes, the samba-like “El Prince” (named after arranger Bob Prince), an infectious number with on-the-wing solo flights that you can’t get out of your head, and the haunting “Embarcadero.” Hall now gets plenty of room to stretch out, supported by Kay’s gently dropped bombs, and he is the perfect understated swinging foil for the wistful altoist. There is not a single track here that isn’t loaded with ingeniously worked out, always melodic ideas. (by Richard S. Ginell)

Paul Desmond (saxophone)
Connie Kay (drums)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Gene Wright (bass)
Gene Cherico (bass on 01.)
George Duvivier (bass on 09.)

Alternate frontcover

01. Take Ten (Desmond) 3.08
02. El Prince (alternate take) (Desmond) 5.35
03. El Prince (Desmond) 3.23
04. Alone Together (Schwartz/Dietz) 6.51
05. Embarcadero (alternate take) (Desmond) 4.54
06. Embarcadero (Desmond) 3.59
07. Theme From “Black Orpheus” (Bonfa) 4.10
08. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes (alternate take) (Bernier/Brainin) 7.18
09. Nancy (Van Heusen/Silvers) 6.03
10. Samba De Orfeu (Bonfa) 4.19
11. The One I Love (Belongs To Somebody Else) (Kahn/Jones) 5.36




Paul Desmond – Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)

FrontCover1Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water was the hottest album in the land in 1970, and Paul Simon’s tunes from that and their earlier albums unexpectedly find a congenial advocate in Paul Desmond. Against the odds as determined by bopsters, Desmond finds something beautiful, wistful, and/or sly to say in each of these ten tunes, backed by Herbie Hancock’s Rhodes electric piano and a set of ravishing, occasionally overstated (as in “America”) orchestrations by Don Sebesky. “The 59th Street Bridge Song” is given a jaunty, carefree rendition, adapting quite well to a jazz treatment (after all, Desmond’s old teammate in the Brubeck quartet Joe Morello played drums on S&G’s original record) and Desmond even does some cascading overdubs on his solo part. “Cecilia” is a fast samba, Desmond cleverly works his old “Sacre Blues” into the solo on “El Condor Pasa,” and the title track has a breathtakingly pretty fadeout. Hancock’s solos often reflect where he was personally at in 1970, with ideas transferred from his progressive electric Sextet. This is a Creed Taylor production in all but name; the sound, track editing, and production values are right in line with the A&M CTI line, but Sebesky is listed as producer, Taylor having recently severed his ties with A&M to form his own label. (by Richard S. Ginell )

Sam Brown (guitar)
Gene Bertoncini (guitar)
Ron Carter (bass)
Paul Desmond (saxophone)
Jerry Jemmott (bass)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
Bill Lavorgna (drums)
Airto Moreira (drums)
João Palma (drums)

01. El Condor Pasa (Traditional) 3.05
02. So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright (Simon) 3.27
03. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) (Simon)  5.11
04. Mrs. Robinson (Simon) 2.42
05. Old Friends (Simon) 3.54
06. America (Simon) 3.58
07. For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her (Simon) 4.03
08. Scarborough Fair/Canticle (Traditional) 4.23
09. Cecilia (Simon) 2.14
10. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon) 3.24


Alternate frontcover