We’re heading into Memorial Day weekend, the thirtieth anniversary of Paul Desmond’s death.
Musically, what I remember about Paul is how hard he could swing in that really understated way. He had the most amazing time feel in his playing. People never really talked about that part of his playing. He could really swing. There’s a lot to Paul Desmond besides that beautiful sound and those beautiful melodies. He was a really strong cat.
I more or less said that found him the best company of anyone I’d ever known in my life. I found him the most loyal friend I’ve ever had in my life. I found him the most artistic person I’ve ever known in my life. I said that his leaving will make this planet a smaller and darker place for everyone.
–Jack Richardson recalling his speech at Desmond’s memorial service.
Both quoted in Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond
Last year around this time, I was also in the grips of nostalgia and sentimentality.