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The Paul Desmond Quartet Live [Live]

Paul Desmond Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 15.01 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Paul Desmond Quartet Live + Pure Desmond 40th Edition + Take Ten
Price For All Three: CDN$ 31.59

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  • Pure Desmond 40th Edition CDN$ 8.66
  • Take Ten CDN$ 7.92

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Product Details

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a Great Example of "Cool" Jazz Nov. 15 2003
Format:Audio CD
Jazz can mean many things and the definitions vary from person to person. This recording is one of my favorite examples of the "Cool Jazz" that happened in the fifties and sixties.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Replace Take Five with a better take! Dec 7 2002
Format:Audio CD
When I first heard this live on double LPs in the early 90s, I thought Desmond's playing was feeble. His usual "slow" playing didn't sound "smooth" or "polished" but "tired" and "vanishing." This was understandable, given the fact that he was suffering not only from creeping old age but also from lung cancer, as we know now. But this CD reissue has given me a completely different impression. He sounds great with a lot more energy that I failed to catch in the LPs.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't just "Take Five", take 79 instead... Oct. 23 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is 79 minutes of very lovely, mostly mellow jazz from the excellent sax player and composer Paul Desmond, recorded live less than two years before his death from lung cancer. He is well supported here by guitar, bass and drums. His elongated version of his own famous "Take Five" comes out quite different than it was on the Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Time Out" recording which made the song and Desmond famous. This was originally issued as a double-LP in 1975, eight years after Brubeck's quartet disbanded. Here, Desmond is the leader, and there is no piano. His saxophone and Ed Bickert's guitar both offer many, many minutes of beauty, and the bass of Don Thompson and drums of Jerry Fuller get a little attention as well. This music is closer to "smooth jazz" than to the energetic deliveries of Coltrane or Rollins, yet it is never boring, never pedestrian enough to qualify as "background" music. You really can't help but like this a lot. It's the kind of album you want if you have a 90-minute drive to make on a crisp autumn day, alone (or two 45-minute segments for the round trip!) It also would set a great romantic mood if you were cooking for your loved one and hoped for cuddling after dessert. The extensive and fascinating liner notes are an added bonus, and tell the owner quite a bit about the kind of mind Paul Desmond had...witty and likeable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure Aug. 4 2002
Format:Audio CD
I just want to put in another good word for this album. I've owned it on vinyl since it came out in the mid 70's and it's always been one of my irreplaceable treasures. To have it available again in this significantly improved reissue is a great joy. The sound on this cd gives full voice to Don Thompson's bass and also gives richer presence to Ed Bickert's incredible guitar.
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.
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Format:Audio CD
Sure, it's a cliche, but this would be the jazz CD that I'd want with me on a desert island. This album has it all! The horn work is flawless. Desmond's improvised lines come across as complete statments, thought out, but never sounding pre-planned. His solo on 'Wave' has some astounding lines while his composition entitled 'Wendy' has developed a cult following of its own.
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.
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