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First Place Again
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First Place Again

1 Jan. 2005 | Format: MP3

£6.32 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2005
  • Release Date: 1 Jan. 2005
  • Label: Gambit Records
  • Copyright: (c) 2005 Gambit Records
  • Total Length: 45:40
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002DL3AFQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,480 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Lewis on 2 Jun. 2010
Format: Audio CD
If you have room in your collection for only one Paul Desmond album, make it this one. He has one of the essential qualities needed by the great jazz musician - namely a sound that is immediately identifiable and which could belong to no-one else. This is coupled with his ability to build literally beautiful melodic solos and a flowing sense of swing. All tracks on this album are of equal stature and Desmond is partnered by one of the best jazz guitarists in Jim Hall who is also on top form. The subtly propulsive rhythm section is made up of Percy Heath (bass) and Connie Kay (drums) from the Modern Jazz Quartet.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By GlynLuke TOP 100 REVIEWER on 2 July 2011
Format: Audio CD
This music won`t get you up dancing, though you may want to smooch with your loved one, or sway to it around the house on a sunny morning.
Paul Desmond (1924-77) was an alumnus of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, but he made some valuable records under his own name, sometimes in cahoots with a soloist such as Gerry Mulligan or, as here, guitarist of limpid restraint Jim Hall (still with us at 80).
Desmond`s alto sax makes a smoothly sweet noise, frightening few horses, though it`s worth pointing out that he influenced more than one sax player of the succeeding generation, most notably arch-modernist Anthony Braxton. He sounds like a man dedicated not only to gently swinging (I`ve come round, late in the day, to the discovery that any jazz worth the name must swing, however slightly, or call itself something else) but to a sense of beauty. His alto sounds almost like a clarinet at times, so light and woody is his playing - a willow or silver birch maybe, rather than an oak.
Jim Hall`s guitar breaks are models of concision and economy, so much so that occasionally one yearns for a few rough edges, less predictable phrasing, especially as Connie Kay (1927-94) and Percy Heath (1923-2005) rock no boats, sturdily steady as their playing is. In fact, one feature of this excellent album is
the subtlety of Kay`s percussion, often using brushes to fine effect, and the sure,
upfront bass figures of Heath.
If I woke up with a hangover - it`s been known to happen - wanting to hear some jazz, I might well reach for this disc, so light and airy is it, Hall`s fluttery guitar and Desmond`s comfortable sax giving these tunes a workout in a manner so `polite`, as it were, that headaches might just be cured by listening to such balmy music.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Terence Peddle on 25 April 2011
Format: Audio CD
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
No Question About This Man's Talent 24 Feb. 2007
By Warren Weise - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I've often felt that Paul Desmond never really got the respect and recognition that he deserved as a jazz saxophonist. Part of the reason may have been his role in the Dave Brubeck quartet and the limitations it may have placed on his personal role in order to further the overall direction of the group. In his setting here, with guitarist Jim Hall, you will hear a Paul Desmond with much greater drive and intensity but the same eloquent and sophisticated harmonic conception that marked all of his work. There has never been a better motivic improvisor in jazz with the chops and the intellect to continue to fit his improvisational ideas into the chordal frame-work of whatever tune he was playing. I think that especially on "I Get a Kick out of You" for example, listeners will hear an intensity and swing that erase any doubt as to his legacy in the history of jazz alto saxophone. It brings to mind his collaborations with Gerry Mulligan and their two very successful recordings. If you don't have any Desmond recordings away from the Brubeck quartet, I urge you to buy this one. I think you'll thoroughly enjoy it. By the way, Jim Hall is no slouch, either. His spare, thoughtful solo creations seem to be a perfect compliment to Desmond's alto. I would give it my highest personal recommendation as a jazz listener and as a jazz saxophonist for over forty years.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Contains hard-to-find "Suzie" 19 Jan. 2009
By Tea Drinker - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this imported version of the CD because it contains Desmond's original composition "Suzie," which shows him at his lyrical best. I could sing that tune all day!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
His Masters Voice 6 May 2012
By Jerlaw - Published on
Format: Audio CD
When a jazz musician has such a distinctive sound that you recognize him right away without being told, it is said "he has his own voice." This is a wonderful compliment to jazz musicians especially, because you are talking about guys like Dexter Gordon & Stanh Getz on tenor sax, Charlie Parker on alto, Ed Bickert or Herb Ellis on guitar, &, of course, Paul Desmond on alto. He has a very smooth tone, plays unending choruses(melodic riffs) on tunes (sometimes one chorus too many).

The title of this set by alto saxophonist Paul Desmond refers to his having placed first once again in the alto chair in the Downbeat poll. Released in 1959, First Place Again is the result of an unexpected gathering of the rhythm section of the Modern Jazz Quartet: Percy Heath and Connie Kay, and Jimmy Giuffre 3 guitarist Jim Hall. The four musicians were all unexpectedly at home in New York and took full advantage of cheap, after-hours recording studio time to play out this set of standards and a pair of newer tunes, John Lewis' great blues, "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West," and "East of the Sun (and West Of The Moon)," from a Princeton University theater work. The rest, including a fine reading of "Greensleeves," which is short and tight here, Cole Porter's "I Get a Kick out of You," J. Fred Coots' "For All We Known," "You Got to My Head" -- another Coots' tune -- and Sammy Cahn's "Time After Time," are done with an airy, amiable vibe, especially the work between Hall and the rhythm section, which is full of counterpoint and sharp accents. Desmond, of course, being at that time the king of melodic improvisation on the alto -- with the possible exception of Art Pepper's ascendancy -- is in fine form. His whimsical, breathy, dry tone is sharp, on the spot, and full of ideas as he quotes from a vast number of tunes. This is a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxed set if ultimately unmemorable. [Though the album was first released under the title First Place Again, it was reissued by the Discovery label in 1986 under the title East of the Sun. The track listing was the same, though the running oder was shuffled.]

Title Composer Time
1 I Get a Kick Out of You 8:38
2 For All We Know 5:33
3 Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West 7:28
4 Greensleeves 2:05
5 You Go to My Head 6:27
6 East of the Sun 5:45
7 Time After Time 6:13
8 Susie 3:49
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good Sounds 10 Oct. 2007
By Ray in Burlingame - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An easy listening album with some classic standards. The interfacing of Jim Hall's guitar and Desmond's horn is on the mellow side and misses the driving interlacing of a Desmond and Brubeck track. All in all with all consideration for experimentation, a good album of individual performing although it could have been stronger in the point - counterpoint mix.
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