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4.5 out of 5 stars19
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 30 October 2011
Everything about this album sparkles: the clean, tactile recording, the smooth, mellifluous sound of Paul Desmond's alto sax, the way in which the band plays together in a seamless but complex manner, and the selection of tunes, some of which, like Take Ten, having different time signatures.

Each piece sparkles and you can always find something new to listen for and catch your ear. If you like Paul Desmond, or the Dave Bruback Quartet of that era, this CD will fit in extremely well to your collection.
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on 9 March 2012
Paul Desmond, famously saxophonist with the Dave Brubeck quartet, with one of his many "solo" recordings. The album title nods towards one of the most famous Brubeck Quartet songs (also written by Desmond), but in no way does Desmond stand in anyone's shadow.

These are recordings which typify the golden age of 60's jazz: standard tunes given new life with gently shifting arrangements, loads of space around the music, plenty of time to explore the melody, and terrific playing from all the participants, although that glorious sax stands centre stage.

And the quality of the recording puts the modern techno meisters to shame: when you think of the limits of the technology at the time, how do these records SOUND so wonderful?

If you haven't heard any of Desmond's solo recordings try this or "Feeling Blue" which is possibly even better: if you like good tunes played by masters of their instruments and genre, you couldn't possibly be disappointed.
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on 9 April 2013
I heard this whole album in low quality on YouTube and decided I had to buy it. I've given it 5 Stars because I like this type of music and this is exactly what I wanted. People either like 'cool jazz' or they don't. If you don't you might dismiss this as elevator music from a 60s movie [and it's right in-period for that]. If you do like this type of jazz, it just flows, from 'Take Ten', a subtle update 'Take Five', through Bossa/Samba tracks, to standards. Perfect for chilling out on the beach or late night relaxing and I wil be using this for both. I could use a better pair of bass bins to get the most out of the recording though.
There was a bewildering array of CD versions and prices for this album so I will be clear on what I am reviewing. It is the 1997 reissue on Sony/Columbia/Legacy/BMG, with three bonus tracks, 'Out of Nowhere' and alternate takes of 'Embarcadero' and 'El Prince'. It does not say that it is the remastered version and I can't hear any of the usual compression that inevitably comes with a modern remaster. I read another review that complained about too-prominent drums and that may have been the remastered version.
Essentially, this is Paul Desmond on a break from the Dave Brubeck Quartet, noodling around wonderfully on alto sax, with Jim Hall's simple and effective jazz guitar accompaniment. Gene Cherico's upright bass [Eugene Wright on 'Take Ten'] and Connie Kay's drums just drive the whole thing along unobtrusively.
The version I bought cost me £4.21 [but is now even cheaper] and arrived in three days on free delivery. Beat that.
My only complaint is that the original cellophane packaging of the CD was almost impossible to get off and I nearly cracked the flimsy, original-style jewel case to do so. But that didn't affect the music at all. Sublime.
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on 3 July 2013
It goes without saying that if you like The Dave Brubeck Quartet, then you should really like this too, for me this is a very cool album with a great laid-back feel, played by brilliant musicians, and a must have for your music collection!
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on 1 February 2013
PD was probably the finest exponent of alto sax playing after CP 's early demise. Such note range and delicacy. His playing can cut the mustard with a multiplicity of personal tastes.
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on 30 October 2014
Excellent playing but aliitle too laid back for me but if you know Paul Desmond you know what to expect.
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on 25 April 2014
One of the greats and reviews are totally unnecessary! I have never heard a poor concert or record and just wish that he was still around today.This record highlights his usual brilliance.
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on 16 November 2013
I am a fan of Stan Getz he can play the Sax, but this "Take Ten" CD is extraordinary, I want to listen over and over. pure joy to the ears..
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on 1 January 2014
.........this being uptown, a wisp of Chesterfield smoke plays in the air even while she arranges her legs comfortably and looks at you, inevitably languorously. You're used to such looks and the messages the eyes convey, being a man sophisticated enough to dig every phrase that emerges from the bell of Paul Desmond's alto sax........

Paul Desmond's had a bad press and the images his sax playing might so easily convey are as hackneyed as yet another politician's promise to stamp out sleaze. In reality he's one of the few alto sax players of Charlie Parker's generation to have been entirely free of his influence, along with Konitz and Pepper. This in itself of course isn't enough to make him special, and the same certainly goes for the fame and fortune he found with Dave Brubeck. But the sophistication of his improvisations was always more than a matter of surface alone, as his solo on "El Prince" here proves.

Indeed he might be said to have had something in common with Hank Mobley given the sly wit and subtlety of his playing, although he hardly fits into the hard bop bag in the way that Mobley uneasily does. On "The One I Love Belongs to Someone Else" he plays like a man for whom everything's right with the world. Guitarist Jim Hall is I would perhaps sacrilegiously argue always a far better front-line partner for Desmond than Brubeck, as he proves on this one.

Arguing that this is ultimately an album for lazy autumn and winter Sunday afternoons is arguably damning it with faint praise, especially when the fact of the matter is that Desmond was one of the surprisingly few jazz musicians who knew her / his vocabulary inside out, and how to use it, so anyone who knows Desmond through his Brubeck association can go for this one in the knowledge that they're going to be pleasantly surprised.
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on 4 May 2011
The sax sound behind Dave Brubeck ; simply amazing and smooth
You'll just want to keep this music go on and on
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