Mosaic Records reports that the first release of Paul Desmond–The Complete 1975 Toronto Recordings has sold out. The seven-CD set features the former Dave Brueck Quartet alto saxophonist with his prized Canadian rhythm section of guitarist Ed Bickert, bassist Don Thompson and drummer Jerry Fuller. Mosaic’s Michael Cuscuna says that he expects the next batch of pressings to be available by the end of May.
When after 17 years together the Brubeck Quartet disbanded, Desmond vacationed in the Caribbean, then retired to enjoy New York City, his home since, and long before, the Brubeck group disbanded. A notable exception was when he teamed with Bickert, Thompson and Fuller for a bit of touring that included engagements at Bourbon Street, the Toronto club whose congenial atmosphere was perfect for Desmond’s relaxed approach and the ingenious variations he lavished on standard songs and original compositions including his own “Take Five” and “Wendy.” Bassist Thompson applied his audio engineering skills to recording the group at Bourbon Street. As I mention in the album notes, Desmond accepted the Canterino family’s offer to play at the Half Note in New York because, as he put it, the club was so near his apartment that he could practically fall out of bed and onto the bandstand. Toronto wasn’t so conveniently nearby, but he loved playing Bourbon Street. From an earlier release of some of the tracks, here are Desmond, Bickert, Thompson and Fuller with “Wendy.”
When the seven CDs of the Mosaic Bourbon Street set are again available, they will be found at: http://www.mosaicrecords.com/prodinfo.asp?number=269-MD-CD. It’s good to have them back.
Orsolya S. says
Seven CDs! What a fantastic treat!
It’s fortunate for us that Paul Desmond came out of retirement to play at Bourbon Street. He doesn’t seem to have lost a step in his playing, after his career hiatus.
You can hear the other musicians encouraging and praising him.
I like the atmospheric sounds of the club.
Richard Sigberman says
I’ve followed and supported Mosaic since their inception in 1981, and, as far as I know, no first pressing of any of their superb albums has sold out as quickly as this one. My theory about why this may be is: Desmond’s quartet albums with Jim Hall, then Ed Bickert, classy, subtle, sympathetic rhythm sections , represent a perfect sort of jazz,, melodic, witty, subtle swing, sounding inviting played at any volume. I very much like Paul Desmond’s music as part of the Dave Brubeck quartet, and I LOVE his playing on the quartets under his name.
Dave Kiffer says
I am so excited for the 7 cd set to arrive. I wore out two copies of the Quartet album learning the solos. It’s an album that remains in my all-time top ten. Seven CDs of Desmond and that awesome rhythm section is gonna be manna from Jazz Heaven.
Mike Baughan says
Christmas in May! No better way to survive a pandemic. Thanks Santa Ramsey & be safe!
I didn’t know about this – thank you for the heads-up, Doug.
Rick Goodkind says
How is the order of the titles on the CDs determined?
The liner notes state, “Nonetheless, let’s go through the sessions chronologically…”, but the CDs are not arranged chronologically. For instance, session A is from March 25, session B from March 26, and session C from March 28. The first CDs eight titles are from session C, A, A, B, C, A, C, B.
Dr. Mike Baughan says
Excellent. Christmas in May! Desmond with Doug Ramsey contributions- pandemic be damned. Splurge-worthy. Sincere thanks. Can’t wait to get a copy. Stay safe & great work.
Pat Goodhope says
My set literally just arrived a few minutes ago and I am deep into the first ‘Emily.’
Thank you as always for your contribution to Paul’s legacy.
‘Avenue C’ Wednesdays 10PM – 12AM Eastern
University of Delaware Public Radio
91.3FM and online at WVUD.org
Ted O'Reilly says
As someone who was at Bourbon Street almost every night that Paul’s “Canadian Quartet” played, I’m waiting on my front porch (quarantine mask in place) for the Mosaic box to arrive and rekindle the glow.
Doug, as the Mosaic set’s annotator you know, of course that the sound has been very much improved over the original releases of these sessions. This material is going to add to the world’s admiration of Desmond as a mature artist, and showcase the amazing guitarist Ed Bickert to even more admirers.
Orsolya S. says
Hi Ted O’Reilly,
You’re very fortunate to have been at the Bourbon Street Club to hear Paul Desmond and his Canadian Quartet play live. (If I had been there, I would’ve been a happy and hip one-year old. Doug, omit this if you want.)
Are you a musician? Or a fan?
Doug Ramsey says
Mr. O’Reilly is a veteran radio broadcaster in Toronto.
Doug Ramsey says
Readers’ comments about the Desmond Mosaic box were delayed because of a combination of computer problems and Rifftides confusion. Thank you all for your interest and your kind words.–Doug R.
Brent Jensen says
I just found out about this today. I used to be on Mosaic’s mailing list, but hadn’t received anything in the mail from them in quite some time. Ordered my copy immediately (of course!) and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to hear those five hours of previously unreleased material!
Hope you’re staying safe & healthy in these strange times (and I’m not talking about 5/4!)
Ken Dryden says
Given the consistent high quality of the music throughout this set, it must have been a challenge to pick the “best” performances for the earlier releases. I’m glad to finally hear the rest of the music, while enjoying Doug Ramsey’s detailed and entertaining liner notes.
Rob D says
When all else fails, I try loaning “Live” to people starting out in their jazz listening “careers”. It almost always turns the trick! This new box sounds amazing, with notes from Doug a massive bonus. I’m buying two because I have a friend in mind who shall swoon upon receipt of this.
(As an aside, I had the opportunity to converse briefly with Wray Downes and Dave Young (b) when they played at a private club during my bartending years. I congratulated Dave on playing with Desmond on the Bourbon St. LP. He laughed and set me straight, as I recall. I was mortified. ONe of the few times I got to meet musicians I admired and I blew it…lol. So in addition to loving that record, it always brings some inner turmoil to my world due to that memory.)
Larry Peterson says
Just finished an extraordinarily enjoyable hour reading your notes. Glad I ordered as soon as Mosaic announced its release of this set. Thanks Doug, for telling so well stories of a great friend and his marvelous music. Bravo!