Several Rifftides readers have sent messages reminding me that Paul Desmond died 40 years ago today. Thanks to all of them. I hadn’t forgotten.
One of Desmond’s most dedicated admirers, Svetlana Ilicheva, wrote from Moscow suggesting that Desmond’s solo on “Out of Nowhere” from a 1966 London radio broadcast would constitute a suitable memorial. Ms. Ilicheva explained that James Dobernig, whom she identified as “one of us,” sent her links to this and several other Desmond/Brubeck videos. The solo is one of his most adventurous. He doesn’t perfectly execute everything he tries for, and part of the fun is hearing him blow back on course. The counterpoint at the end of the performance revives a practice that helped to make Brubeck and Desmond famous early in the life of the Brubeck Quartet.
- Here are the names of the the full cast: Dave Brubeck , piano; Paul Desmond, alto saxophone, Eugene Wright, bass; Joe Morello, Drums.
The publisher of Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond would take to drink if I failed to remind you that the book is available as an ebook. Used, and occasionally new, hardcover copies, often at mind-blowing prices, may be found on the internet by googling the title. Their sales do neither the publisher nor the author a bit of financial good, but we hope that everyone will read and enjoy the book—and listen often to Paul.
Paul Desmond, 1924-1977