Paul Desmond – Desmond: Here I Am
Paul Desmond recorded his first two albums as a leader in 1954 and 1956, and they emphasized what fans of the Dave Brubeck Quartet already knew: his lyrical alto saxophone work made him one of the great individualists in jazz. “My name is Paul Desmond,” he wrote in the notes of the first album, “and here I am 30 years old and this is my first album in which I am not breathing down someone else’s neck...” Paul plays with considerable vitality in the first four tracks, with excellent arrangements by Dave Van Kriedt, who shines also as a soloist on tenor sax. In his off-beat notes, Paul wrote, “Van Kriedt develops themes like some people develop pictures.” On the second half of the record Desmond plays against six voices through a graceful set of arrangements, with guitarist Barney Kessel added to the rhythm section.
The music on the second album features Don Elliott on mellophone in a pianoless quartet that follows the soft-styled approach they both favored. Desmond’s alto playing is relaxed and inventive in keeping with the delicate sound. He maintains even control through all the registers of the instrument, quite a remarkable feat in itself.
1. Jeruvian (Van Kriedt) - 3:35 2. Baroque (Choral Prelude) (Van Kriedt) - 1:43 3. But Happy (Fugue IV) (Van Kriedt) - 3:03 4. Misty Window (Van Kriedt) - 3:21 5. Warm Cradle (Van Kriedt) - 2:49 6. Garden in the Rain (Dyrenforth-Gibbons) - 2:48 7. Soon (G. & I. Gershwin) - 2:18 8. Winky (Bill Bates) - 2:56 9. Will I Know (Jack Weeks) - 2:52 10. Jazzabelle (Paul Desmond) - 6:32 11. A Watchman’s Carroll (Don Eliott) - 3:04 12. Everything Happens to Me (Adair-Dennis) - 5:16 13. Let’s Get Away From It All (Adair-Dennis) - 4:09 14. Look for the Silver Lining (Jerome Kern) - 4:44 15. Sacre Blues (Paul Desmond) - 6:05 16. You Go to My Head (Coots-Gillespie) 5:43 17. Line for Lyons (Gerry Mulligan) - 5:26
Note: This is the first time track #5, Warm Cradle, originally issued on the Fantasy LP3-21, has been released on CD.
Tracks #1-8, from the 10-inch album “Desmond” (Fantasy LP3-21)
Tracks #9-17, from the 12-inch album “Paul Desmond Quartet featuring Don Elliott” (Fantasy LP3235)
Personnel on #1-5:
Paul Desmond Quintet
Dick Collins, trumpet; Paul Desmond, alto sax; Dave Van Kriedt, tenor sax; Bob Bates, bass; Joe Dodge, drums.
Radio Recorders, Hollywood, October 1954
Personnel on #6-9:
Paul Desmond Quintet with The Bill Bates Singers
Jack Weeks, trombone (only on #9); Paul Desmond, alto sax; Barney Kessel, guitar, except on #9; Bob Bates, bass; Joe Dodge, drums. The Bill Bates Singers: Sue Allen, Bill Brown, Loulie Jean Norman, Bernie Parke, Bill Thompson, Gloria Wood, vocals.
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, October/November 1954
Personnel on #10-17:
The Paul Desmond Quartet Featuring Don Elliott
Don Elliott, mellophone, trumpet on #13 &13; Paul Desmond, alto sax; Norman Bates, bass; Joe Chevrolet [aka Joe Dodge], drums.
Recorded in San Francisco, February 14, 1956
Original recordings produced by Bill Bates (#1-9) and Max Weiss (#10-17).
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol