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. The two shared similar interests and humor, and both men had no shortage of addictions in their lives. [1] His grandfather Sigmund Breitenfeld was, according to an obituary, born in Austria in 1857. Fresh, like a wave or a gentle breeze. This probably would help! Seduction. Jump to Latest Follow 21 - 33 of 33 Posts. Desmond is inventive and distinctive in every kind of setting. "[2] Desmond was married from 1947 to 1949 to Duane Reeves Lamon. 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]. Paul Desmond is widely recognized for his genius as a melodic improviser and as the benchmark of cool jazz sax players. Start With a Simple Melodic Idea. [8], Desmond enjoyed reading works by the thinkers of his generation like Timothy Leary and Jack Kerouac, also dabbling in some LSD usage. The Singing Program of World War I: The Crusade for a Singing Army Author(s): E. Christina Chang Source: Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, Vol. Desmond had a falling out with Brubeck when he resigned from the Band Box and prevented Brubeck from taking over the residency. [9] The group played until 1967, when Brubeck switched his musical focus from performance to composition and broke the unit up. He and Art Pepper were virtually the only alto players of their generation not directly influenced by Charlie Parker. His last concert was with Brubeck in February 1977, in New York City. Desmond was a guest artist on five tracks by Chet Baker recorded between 1975 and 1977. 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". Desmond produced a light, melodic tone on the alto saxophone, trying to sound, he said, "like a dry martini." 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. Darius Brubeck recalls thinking that Desmond was his uncle almost into adolescence. Following his divorce, he remained single for the rest of his life.[2]. During the 1970s Desmond joined Brubeck for several reunion tours, including "Two Generations of Brubeck". His fans did not know that he was already dying. Desmond met Canadian guitarist Ed Bickert through a recommendation by Jim Hall, and Desmond performed with Bickert at several clubs in the Toronto area during 1974–1975. Clarinetist Perry Robinson recalls in his autobiography that Desmond would sometimes need a vitamin B12 shot just to go on playing during his later career.[10]. Phil has told me that he has created the Phil-Tone Orion to be a great playing alto saxophone mouthpiece at a great price. He worked occasionally for Dave Brubeck at the Geary Cellar in San Francisco. [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. After years of chain smoking and poor health, Desmond succumbed to lung cancer in 1977 after a tour with Brubeck. [2], Desmond's father, Emil Breitenfeld, was a pianist, organist, arranger, and composer. Desmond was cremated and his ashes were scattered. A cool way to cry, a cool laugh, a cool sad or happy? Reccomended alto mouthpiece for Paul Desmond/early Art Pepper type tone? "[2] Desmond developed a talent for writing during high school as well, becoming co-editor of his high school newspaper. Paul Desmond is widely recognized for his genius as a melodic improviser and as the benchmark of cool jazz sax players. Top down cruising; just allowing a barely discernible tap of the fingers or nod of the head to the beat. 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. The tone of the album: lush, reflective, thought-provoking, and soul-stirring. Paul Desmond is widely recognized for his genius as a melodic improviser and as the benchmark of cool jazz sax players. He and Art Pepper were virtually the only alto players … This work is quite a plus for any listener and especially those who consider themselves avid fans of Paul Desmond". Desmond once told Marian McPartland of National Public Radio's Piano Jazz that he was taken aback by the chord changes Brubeck introduced during that 1944 audition. Paul Desmond is widely recognized for his genius as a melodic improviser and as the benchmark of cool jazz sax players. Thu … 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. 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. [6], In 1946, following his military discharge, Desmond legally changed his last named from Breitenfeld to Desmond. I first heard both Chet and Paul in the mid fifties, they were incredibly lyrical players. 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. Your contribution helps keep jazz strong on air and in the community. [15], Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond, October 8, 1954. 2" [78rpm 10" disc], "The Man I Love" // "Down In Honkytonk Town" [78rpm 10" disc], This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 04:46. A gesture. Just enough. Phil-Tone Orion Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece . Knowing that a couple of the tracks were the last thing Paul Desmond ever recorded gives the whole disc an added poignancy. In the 1940s and 1950s, Desmond frequently took amphetamines, and in the 1970s, he was known to use cocaine. That’s Paul Desmond. 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? If Johnny Hodges was the seducer on alto, Desmond was the cool intellect always willing to engage all of your senses. Dave Brubeck at the piano with (from left) Paul Desmond, Joe Morello and Eugene Wright, in 1959. In addition to his work with Brubeck, he led several groups and collaborated with Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Jim Hall, and Ed Bickert. 1 (Oct., 2001), pp. Brightness is generally the first parameter that defines the tone of a saxophonist. [4] One of the great livers of our time. What used to scare me is I'd look at him and it would just be whites in his eyes, wouldn't be any eyeballs. See more ideas about jazz musicians, jazz blues, jazz. The Paul Desmond Papers are held at the Holt-Atherton Special Collections in the University of the Pacific Library. 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. Desmond's mother, born Shirley King, was Catholic, and of Irish descent. Pristine, perfect. 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? He exemplified a sound and cool that was said to come from the west coast. Jan 5, 2018 - Explore John Harling's board "Paul Desmond" on Pinterest. His tone was light but full. 19-45 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. Jazz at the College of the Pacific, Volume 2, Anything Goes! Desmond worked several times during his career with baritone saxophonist and band leader Gerry Mulligan. Eliot's "This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper"). It was a sound that made him a favourite with critics and fans alike, and won him jazz poll after jazz poll. Breitenfeld accompanied silent films in movie theaters and produced musical arrangements for printed publication and for live theatrical productions. [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. His improvisations were complex but always lyrical and direct. To read our privacy and cookies policy, please click here. Live recordings of that concert and club dates with Bickert performed during 1974-1975 were released during and after Desmond's lifetime. He exemplified a sound and cool that was said to come from the west coast. His warm, elegant tone was one that he admittedly tried to make sound like a dry martini. He was one of the most popular musicians to come out of the cool jazz scene. 3 years ago. Brubeck was trying out for the 253rd Army band, which Desmond belonged to. [10], Desmond had a celebrated studio partnership with guitarist Jim Hall. He told many stories over the years regarding how he chose the name Desmond, but his biographer Doug Ramsey offers an account from Desmond's friend Hal Strack that the two were listening to the Glenn Miller band singer Johnny Desmond in 1942, and Desmond told Strack "that's such a great name. He began on the clarinet when in high school. 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. We need help from listeners like you to keep bringing you great music and supporting Canada’s jazz community. Awash in Dewar's and full of health. In 1976 Desmond played 25 shows in 25 nights with Brubeck, touring the United States in several cities by bus. This album brings back so many memories of my long-gone and mostly misspent youth. Prev. This week we’ll survey recordings from 1953 to 1963 led by alto sax player Paul Desmond, whose cool, precise tone was the ideal foil for the boisterous piano of Dave Brubeck in the Dave Brubeck Quartet. 1" // "How Long, Baby How Long, Pt. His improvisations were complex but always lyrical and direct. The success of the quartet led to a Time magazine piece on them in 1954, with the famous cover featuring Brubeck's face. This is a lovely tuneful, cool collection which would make a nice relaxing listen before bedtime, or at anytime that you needed a period of calm. In their private lives Dave Brubeck and his family were very close to Paul Desmond, though the two men possessed very different personalities. He wrote “Take Five” for the Dave Brubeck quartet. Paul Desmond’s artistry was bringing cool to life. In that capacity, he interviewed comedian Bob Hope for his school newspaper during one of Hope's visits to San Francisco. Desmond played a Selmer Super Balanced Action model alto saxophone coupled with an M. C. Gregory model 4A-18M hard rubber mouthpiece, both dating from circa 1951, with a moderately stiff Rico 3 ½ reed. Playing with Desmond and Mulligan was really mind-blowing because they were such heroes for me. What if every emotion had a cool version? But the name could have been applied just as aptly to Paul Desmond… During high school, he wished to study violin, but his father dissuaded him, saying that violin players were "a dime a dozen....with the violin, you'll starve. December 8, 2020 by Steve Leave a Comment. Style. His warm, elegant tone was one that he admittedly tried to make sound like a dry martini. During WWII he was drafted into the US Army, but he joined a military band and never saw combat. My favorite sax player is Paul Desmond, tone, style, phrasing, just had it going on. He and Art Pepper were virtually the only alto players of their generation not directly influenced by Charlie Parker. That’s cool. 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. This work is quite a plus for any listener and especially those who consider themselves avid fans of Paul Desmond. In an era that worshipped the frenetic, bebop style of Charlie Parker, Paul Desmond found his own sound, a tone that he claimed imitated a “dry martini.” It was a sound that made him a favourite with critics and fans alike, and won him jazz poll after jazz poll. His tone was light but full. His improvisations were complex but always lyrical and direct. [6] During Brubeck's Two Generations tours, Desmond and Mulligan shared the stage together in 1974. 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). His warm, elegant tone was one that he admittedly tried to make sound like a dry martini. Desmond died on May 30, 1977, not of his heavy alcohol habit but of lung cancer, the result of his longtime heavy smoking. Desmond's playing was also notable for his ability to produce extremely high notes, the altissimo register, on his saxophone. Never without his humor, after he was diagnosed with cancer he expressed pleasure at the health of his liver. 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. 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 Dave Brubeck Quartet Plays Cole Porter, We're All Together Again for the First Time, Paul Desmond Quartet Featuring Don Elliott, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Paul_Desmond&oldid=992802661, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Joker (Italy) SM-3804; Blue Vox (Switzerland) B/90174, Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond/Dave Van Kriedt, Europa Jazz (Italy) EJ-1032; Denon (Japan) 33C38-7681, Columbia C2L-26/C2S-826 [as double LP]; CL-2036/CS-8836 and CL-2037/CS-8837 [as single LPs], "How Long, Baby How Long, Pt. [6][8] That is how the Dave Brubeck Quartet had its start, a group that began in 1951 and ended in December 1967. In his first year of college, Desmond was drafted into the United States Army and joined the Army band while stationed in San Francisco. Our site uses cookies to tailor your experience, measure site performance and present relevant donation incentives and advertisements. 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. 1; 2; First 2 of 2 Go to page . I was inclined to think more of Charlie Parker, Paul Desmond and Phil Woods while playing the Orion mouthpiece. In an era that worshipped the frenetic, bebop style of Charlie Parker, Paul Desmond found his own sound, a tone that he claimed imitated a "dry martini." 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. His tone was light, but full. 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. Desmond grew especially close to Dave's son Michael, to whom he left his saxophone upon death. It's so smooth and yet it's uncommon....If I ever decide I need another name, it's going to be Desmond. I play guitar, but Desmond had the sax down. Later on, when he changed his name to Desmond, he joked he did it because "Breitenfeld sounded too Irish". If Johnny Hodges was the seducer on alto, Desmond was the cool intellect always willing to engage all of your senses. The two made two studio albums together (Gerry Mulligan - Paul Desmond Quartet (1957), and Two of a Mind (1962)). Desmond produced a light, melodic tone on the alto saxophone, trying to sound, he said, "like a dry martini." In June 1969 Desmond appeared at the New Orleans Jazz Festival with Gerry Mulligan, procuring favorable reactions from critics and audience members. Paul Desmond was a great saxophonist. The Breitenfeld family in Bohemia and Vienna featured musicians in every generation throughout the 1800s, 1900s, and to the present day. His warm, elegant tone was one that he admittedly tried to make sound like a dry martini. After some time spent inactive, Desmond was asked to play the Half Note in New York City in 1971 by Hall. Accompanying them were Brubeck's sons Chris Brubeck, Dan Brubeck and Darius Brubeck. He was known to have several addictions, including Dewar's Scotch whisky and Pall Mall cigarettes. 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". 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