Style. 1" // "How Long, Baby How Long, Pt. Richard Williams. That’s Paul Desmond. [6] During Brubeck's Two Generations tours, Desmond and Mulligan shared the stage together in 1974. After Desmond convinced Brubeck to hire him following his stint with Jack Fina, the two had a contract drafted (of which Brubeck was the sole signatory); the language forbade Brubeck from firing him, ensured Brubeck's status as group leader, and gave Desmond twenty percent of all profits generated from the quartet. 23, No. This work is quite a plus for any listener and especially those who consider themselves avid fans of Paul Desmond". It's so smooth and yet it's uncommon....If I ever decide I need another name, it's going to be Desmond. Desmond's mother, born Shirley King, was Catholic, and of Irish descent. Desmond offered to perform arranging and administrative work for Brubeck's band, and to babysit Brubeck's children, and Brubeck finally relented and agreed to try working with Desmond again. Start With a Simple Melodic Idea. Desmond produced a light, melodic tone on the alto saxophone, trying to sound, he said, "like a dry martini." As freshman at San Francisco State College, Desmond began playing alto saxophone. Desmond is inventive and distinctive in every kind of setting. He and Art Pepper were virtually the only alto players of their generation not directly influenced by Charlie Parker. Desmond worked several times during his career with baritone saxophonist and band leader Gerry Mulligan. Allmusic awarded the album 4 stars stating "The tone of the album: lush, reflective, thought-provoking, and soul-stirring. I have won several prizes as the world's slowest alto player, as well as a special award in 1961 for quietness. Following his divorce, he remained single for the rest of his life.[2]. He worked occasionally for Dave Brubeck at the Geary Cellar in San Francisco. See more ideas about jazz musicians, jazz blues, jazz. Never without his humor, after he was diagnosed with cancer he expressed pleasure at the health of his liver. This probably would help! Desmond featured Bickert on his 1975 studio album Pure Desmond, and the two played together at the 1976 Edmonton Jazz Festival. Later on, when he changed his name to Desmond, he joked he did it because "Breitenfeld sounded too Irish". Playing with Desmond and Mulligan was really mind-blowing because they were such heroes for me. He and Art Pepper were virtually the only alto players of their generation not directly influenced by Charlie Parker. Desmond began to study clarinet at the age of twelve, which he continued while at San Francisco Polytechnic High School. [11] Desmond is reported to have quipped, upon seeing a former girlfriend on the street, "There she goes, not with a whim but a banker" (a semi-Spoonerism reference to T.S. Desmond was also described as a womanizer who was unable to form (and was uninterested in maintaining) steady relationships with women, though he had no shortage of female companions throughout his life. [6], Dave Brubeck(PBS interview with Hedrick Smith)[7]. [13] Desmond reportedly owned a Baldwin grand piano, which he lent to Bradley Cunningham, owner of Bradley's piano bar in Greenwich Village, provided that Cunningham move the large piano back to Desmond's Upper West Side apartment to become part of Desmond's estate. During the 1970s Desmond joined Brubeck for several reunion tours, including "Two Generations of Brubeck". When you want to begin using sequences in your playing, it can be … Paul Desmond produced a melodic tone on his alto saxophone, trying to sound like a “Dry Martini”. During WWII he was drafted into the US Army, but he joined a military band and never saw combat. There are plenty of Breitenfelds in Germany and Austria to support both sides of the argument. His rare gift for improvised counterpoint is perhaps most evident on the two albums he recorded with baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan (Mulligan-Desmond Quartet and Two of a Mind). An evenness. That’s cool. It was a sound that made him a favourite with critics and fans alike, and won him jazz poll after jazz poll. Our site uses cookies to tailor your experience, measure site performance and present relevant donation incentives and advertisements. Some people called him the stork—'Cause he would stand on one leg and leaned on the piano. [8], Desmond enjoyed reading works by the thinkers of his generation like Timothy Leary and Jack Kerouac, also dabbling in some LSD usage. In “Improvised Counterpoints” he plays several jazz hits on alto saxophone in a very pure, light and melodic tone, trying to sound (as he loved to say) “like a dry Martini”, featuring some of his best work with baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. The quartet became especially popular with college-age audiences, often performing in college settings like on their ground-breaking 1953 album Jazz at Oberlin at Oberlin College, or on their recordings on the campuses of Ohio University and the University of Michigan, among others. Lewy, the maiden surname of Paul's paternal grandmother Hermine, is more likely to be of Jewish origin, but no evidence of her genealogy has surfaced. His tone was light but full. Your contribution helps keep jazz strong on air and in the community. Pristine, perfect. In contrast, Brubeck was deeply religious and a stalwart family man. It's interesting how many saxophonists don't understand that the most important factor is to have a pleasing tone or voice (everything else is second). With a style that was similar to that of Lee Konitz, one of his influences, he quickly became one of the best-known saxophonists from the West Coast's cool school of jazz. He wrote “Take Five” for the Dave Brubeck quartet. [2] His chemical-dependency problems would sometimes drain him of his energy on the road. His last concert was with Brubeck in February 1977, in New York City. Unlike Brubeck, Mulligan personally shared much in common with Desmond. To read our privacy and cookies policy, please click here. He spent three years in the military, but his unit was not called to combat. In that capacity, he interviewed comedian Bob Hope for his school newspaper during one of Hope's visits to San Francisco. Paul Desmond is widely recognized for his genius as a melodic improviser and as the benchmark of cool jazz sax players. Desmond produced a light, melodic tone on the alto saxophone, trying to sound, he said, "like a dry martini." [2], Desmond's father, Emil Breitenfeld, was a pianist, organist, arranger, and composer. Desmond specified in his will that all proceeds from "Take Five" would go to the Red Cross following his death. In their private lives Dave Brubeck and his family were very close to Paul Desmond, though the two men possessed very different personalities. In June 1969 Desmond appeared at the New Orleans Jazz Festival with Gerry Mulligan, procuring favorable reactions from critics and audience members. Desmond had a falling out with Brubeck when he resigned from the Band Box and prevented Brubeck from taking over the residency. Dave Brubeck and Paul … [15], Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond, October 8, 1954. He began on the clarinet when in high school. The tone of the album: lush, reflective, thought-provoking, and soul-stirring. December 8, 2020 by Steve Leave a Comment. [2] Starting in 1933, Desmond spent nearly five years living with relatives in New Rochelle, New York due to his mother's mental health problems. We need help from listeners like you to keep bringing you great music and supporting Canada’s jazz community. My favorite sax player is Paul Desmond, tone, style, phrasing, just had it going on. Much of the success of the classic Brubeck quartet was due to the juxtaposition of his airy style over Brubeck's sometimes relatively heavy, polytonal piano work. A gesture. 1; 2; First 2 of 2 Go to page . Prev. From 1950 to 1967, Paul Desmond played with the wildly successful Dave Brubeck Quartet; their midpoint triumph Time Out from 1959 is a staple on lists of the most important jazz LPs. Paul Desmond (born Paul Emil Breitenfeld, November 25, 1924 – May 30, 1977) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and composer, best known for his work with the Dave Brubeck Quartet and for composing that group's biggest hit, "Take Five". Today, I am reviewing a hard rubber alto saxophone mouthpiece from Gottsu mouthpieces in Japan. The success of the quartet led to a Time magazine piece on them in 1954, with the famous cover featuring Brubeck's face. Desmond was born Paul Emil Breitenfeld in San Francisco, California, in 1924, the son of Shirley (née King) and Emil Aron Breitenfeld. Baker and Desmond also appeared together on two tracks included on Jim Hall's 1975 Concierto album. Jazz saxophonist Paul Desmond, photograph from 1964 xxx They called the sensuous tenor saxophonist Stan Getz "the Sound." By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Knowing that a couple of the tracks were the last thing Paul Desmond ever recorded gives the whole disc an added poignancy. Desmond's mother Shirley was emotionally unstable throughout his upbringing, and appears to have suffered from obsessive–compulsive disorder and other mental illnesses. [6][8] That is how the Dave Brubeck Quartet had its start, a group that began in 1951 and ended in December 1967. This album brings back so many memories of my long-gone and mostly misspent youth. Much of the success of the classic Brubeck quartet was due to the juxtaposition of his airy style over Brubeck's sometimes relatively heavy, polytonal piano work.[14]. Brightness is generally the first parameter that defines the tone of a saxophonist. "[2][3][4] However, Fred Barton, songwriter/arranger and Desmond's cousin, found extensive genealogical proof that both the Breitenfeld and Löwy families were Bohemian Jews. [2] In 1950 Desmond joined the band of Jack Fina and toured with Fina for several months, but he returned to California after hearing Brubeck's trio on the radio and deciding that he should repair his relationship with Brubeck and attempt to join Brubeck's increasingly successful band. During World War I, while Breitenfeld was training with the 17th New York Regiment in Plattsburgh, New York, he composed The Last Long Mile, one of the best-known soldiers' songs of that war.[5]. His improvisations were complex but always lyrical and direct. Desmond produced a light, melodic tone on the alto saxophone, trying to sound, he said, "like a dry martini." The JAZZ.FM91 Studios are powered by Lawo broadcast technology, JAZZ.FM91 live performances are on pianos available at Remenyi House of Music, 4 Pardee Avenue, Suite 100, Toronto, ON M6K 3H5. [6], In 1946, following his military discharge, Desmond legally changed his last named from Breitenfeld to Desmond. After making the cut he—unlike Desmond—was sent overseas in 1944, to Europe. [9] The group played until 1967, when Brubeck switched his musical focus from performance to composition and broke the unit up. Stan Getz (Stanley Gayetzky, February 2, 1927 Philadelphia – June 6, 1991 Malibu, California) was an American jazz tenor saxophone player. He exemplified a sound and cool that was said to come from the west coast. Live recordings of that concert and club dates with Bickert performed during 1974-1975 were released during and after Desmond's lifetime. If Johnny Hodges was the seducer on alto, Desmond was the cool intellect always willing to engage all of your senses. [1] His grandfather Sigmund Breitenfeld was, according to an obituary, born in Austria in 1857. I first heard both Chet and Paul in the mid fifties, they were incredibly lyrical players. Top down cruising; just allowing a barely discernible tap of the fingers or nod of the head to the beat. In addition to his work with Brubeck, he led several groups and collaborated with Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Jim Hall, and Ed Bickert. It corresponds to the "quantity of high-frequencies" we hear in the sound. One of the great livers of our time. At the time, Brubeck and Brubeck's wife Iola had three small children, and Brubeck had instructed Iola not to let Desmond set foot in the family home. Interviewed by Desmond biographer Doug Ramsey, Desmond's first cousin Rick Breitenfeld said that no one in the Breitenfeld family could find evidence of Jewish ancestry or Jewish religious observance, but Paul Desmond and members of his father's family "frequently speculated as to whether or not Sigmund or Hermine Breitenfeld had Jewish backgrounds". This work is quite a plus for any listener and especially those who consider themselves avid fans of Paul Desmond. A B-side that was just so smooth. If Johnny Hodges was the seducer on alto, Desmond was the cool intellect always willing to engage all of your senses. [2] Biographer Ramsey notes that "the name Breitenfeld could be Jewish or non-Jewish. I play guitar, but Desmond had the sax down. 19-45 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. Jazz at the College of the Pacific, Volume 2, Anything Goes! Paul Desmond was an artist who stood alone on the alto saxophone. His warm, elegant tone was one that he admittedly tried to make sound like a dry martini. Jan 5, 2018 - Explore John Harling's board "Paul Desmond" on Pinterest. Desmond grew especially close to Dave's son Michael, to whom he left his saxophone upon death. Although Desmond contributed the biggest hit to the band book, “Take Five,” that immortal theme is an outlier, for Desmond mainly functioned in the Brubeck group as star soloist. A cool way to cry, a cool laugh, a cool sad or happy? Breitenfeld accompanied silent films in movie theaters and produced musical arrangements for printed publication and for live theatrical productions. He and Art Pepper were virtually the only alto players … For a period of several weeks, he led a small jazz combo at the Band Box in Redwood City that included Dave Brubeck. Paul Desmond is widely recognized for his genius as a melodic improviser and as the benchmark of cool jazz sax players. With his special brand of humor, Desmond said that he took the job only because he was nearby and could tumble out of bed to work. Sigmund Breitenfeld, a medical doctor, emigrated to New York City with his wife Hermine (born Hermine Lewy) at the end of the 19th century, and the Breitenfelds raised their four children (including Desmond's father Emil) with no religion. Paul Desmond is widely recognized for his genius as a melodic improviser and as the benchmark of cool jazz sax players. Paul Desmond is widely recognized for his genius as a melodic improviser and as the benchmark of cool jazz sax players. His improvisations were complex but always lyrical and direct. In 1976 Desmond played 25 shows in 25 nights with Brubeck, touring the United States in several cities by bus. The two made two studio albums together (Gerry Mulligan - Paul Desmond Quartet (1957), and Two of a Mind (1962)). After years of chain smoking and poor health, Desmond succumbed to lung cancer in 1977 after a tour with Brubeck. I was inclined to think more of Charlie Parker, Paul Desmond and Phil Woods while playing the Orion mouthpiece. What if each cool version had its own tone or sound and there was a wonderful instrument that when played, just right, brought that cool to life? But the name could have been applied just as aptly to Paul Desmond… Desmond appeared at Brubeck's San Francisco apartment one day while Dave was in the back yard hanging diapers on a laundry line, and Iola, defying Brubeck's wishes, let Desmond in and took him to Dave. His warm, elegant tone was one that he admittedly tried to make sound like a dry martini. Desmond was a guest artist on five tracks by Chet Baker recorded between 1975 and 1977. , Joe Morello and Eugene Wright, in 1946, following his death Edmonton jazz Festival Gerry! 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