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The Paul Desmond Quartet Live Live
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Top Customer Reviews
Preserving the genre into the mid 1970s Paul Desmond stands out as a brilliant leader able to present a beautifully finished product in this classic setting. Recorded in a club you can hear the occasional clinking of glassware in the background although crowd noise is never a problem. The effect is to make one wish they had been there experiencing this performance in person. Thankfully the recording does a wonderful job of preserving the overall affect of this jazz master's later years.
Ed Bickert's guitar work is outstanding, an example few well known jazz guitarists can even approach. His harmonic content and control is nothing short of incredible. His solos tend to be chord based and unique to him.
In my humble opinion this is jazz at its best, mellow, warm and unobtrusive yet never boring. If you love cool jazz you will very likely love this recording.
But what on earth happened to Take Five? Vulnerable Desmond is back. His sax sounds "off microphone" as compared to other tunes whose Paul's solos are captured much more clearly "on microphone." Since five evenings worth of their performances were recorded, much better take of Take Five should have been included in the LPs and this CD. OR, I welcome the box set issue of "The Complete Bourbon Street Sessions," as we have seen with a number of Bill Evans Trio club sessions.
Paul Desmond's tone, obviously, has always been to die for, but it's even better here with this digital remastering. He's never sounded better, to my ear, than he does in this live club setting where he can really stretch out. He plays chorus after chorus of inspired, lyrical, beautiful, impossible improvisation, putting his lifetime of experience behind every note. The first two tunes especially, Wendy and Wave show him at his best, but really they're all great.
This is one of my favorite albums; in fact, yes, it's one of my "desert island" discs. If you like Paul Desmond at all you have to get this. You'll be more than delighted.
Being a guitarist I naturally am very interested in Ed Bickert's work. Filling the slot once occupied by Jim Hall would be daunting, but the guitar work on this album is more than adequate for the task. Mr. Bickert can improvise melodies in chord form that would be difficult to play as single-note lines. I simply have never heard anything quite like it.
Don Thompson holds down the bottom end with inventiveness and creativity while never sacrficing his reliability. His solos are tastefull and complete. He fits in well with the rest of the group and makes a solid contribution.
Jerry Fuller is up to the challenge of holding together the rhythms of this quartet. This drummer is never obtrusive but always present. Substance prevails over pyrotechnics.
Iv'e owned a copy of this album since '77 and still listen to it often. After all of this time there are still gems that jump out of a solo and amaze me. Putting this out on CD was truly a service to the jazz community.
Most recent customer reviews
Probably the best album of Paul Desmond's "Canadian Quartet" with Ed Bickert. Quite well recorded with lengthy versions of well-known standards. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Denny
For those who enjoy the laid back but swinging style of Desmond's oeuvre this is a necessary addition to your collection. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Betheri
I should state a personal bias before writing this review: I am practically a Paul Desmond completist. Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2002
This is quintessential Paul Desmond. He is cool at its coolest. He is at ease and fluid. Some of his solos ge beyond just improvising on the tune--at times he seems about to... Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2001 by J. Seigle