We remember the life of Paul Desmond, who bequeathed us decades of memorable moments in American music. We lost a great musician, and I one of my dearest friends, when Paul died in his early fifties. He was born on November 25, 1924. From his earliest days in San Francisco through decades as Dave Brubeck’s alto saxophonist partner and with an enthusiastic following of his own, Desmond became one of the most celebrated soloists in jazz. Here is one reason, his 13-chorus solo on “Tangerine,” recorded with the Brubeck quartet in Denmark in 1957.
For my biography of Paul Desmond, pianist Bill Mays and his friend Arnie DeKeijzer, transcribed the entire Desmond “Tangerine” solo. Hardback copies of that biography are long gone, but it is available as an e-book with all of its photographs and illustrations intact.