- Audio CD (7 April 2001)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: RCA Victor
- ASIN: B000002WNF
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 424,693 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Take Ten Import
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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.
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.
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.
You'll just want to keep this music go on and on
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sublime. Cool laid back jazz. Great sound quality. Paul Desmond is a master. Take 10 and get this.Published 15 months ago by Gavin Holmes
Relaxing, undemanding listening --- superb jazz, by superb musicians.Published 18 months ago by Vandave
Excellent playing but aliitle too laid back for me but if you know Paul Desmond you know what to expect.Published on 30 Oct. 2014 by planningpal