Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paul Desmond - Like Someone in Love

In 1992, Telarc unveiled a series of performances from the vault on a short-lived label punningly entitled "Telarchive," beginning with this long-delayed encore to the original releases from Paul Desmond's "Canadian" quartet. Recorded live in Toronto's Bourbon Street Jazz Club several months before the live dates released on Horizon and Artists House, it finds Desmond growing comfortable with his new Toronto friends but not quite settled into their laid-back ways quite yet. There are passages in this session where Desmond sounds a bit uncharacteristically scattered and unfocused, where guitarist Ed Bickert becomes the more fluid and stable solo partner, and bassist (and engineer) Don Thompson takes a lengthy solo on every track. Desmond seems to produce his best work in the material that he seems most familiar with. The title track is the one that catches fire most brightly (with a wry assist from "We're in the Money") and "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" finds him working in some clever asides from, yes, Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloe." The wistful European melancholy of Django Reinhardt's "Nuages" suits him perfectly and Jobim's "Meditation" makes its first appearance on a Desmond recording. The boxy, confined live sound doesn't suit the late saxophonist -- nor, obviously, the perfectionist standards at Telarc -- but every precious unreleased note from Desmond is definitely worth sampling at whatever sonic level. - by Richard S. Ginell, AMG

When I bought this recording I was only familar with Desmond through the song "Take Five". This CD, recorded live at a club called Bourbon Street in Toronto, shows Desmond and company playing standards in a variety of styles - none of them in 5/4. "Tangerine" is a bright little number that has one of the best Desmond solos ever. The band gets Brazilian on Jobim's "Meditation" and melancholy on Django Reinhardt's "Nuages". The blues get turned inside out on Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used To Be" with bluesy solos from Desmond and guitarist Ed Bickert. Don Thompson (bass) and Jerry Fuller (drums) provide ample support although the dynamics of the recording make them sound slightly muted.
The recording quality is a little weak; other than the sax the band's sound is slightly muffled. And it can be intrusive to hear silverware clanging against china during the bass solos - not to mention the talking. But this is a great recording and any audible distractions will be overridden by the quality of the performances. A good introduction to Paul Desmond's skills as a soloist and interpreter of standards. - by Douglas T. Martin, Amazon.com

Artist: Paul Desmond Quartet
Album: Like Someone in Love (Live in Toronto)
Year: 1975
Label: Telarc (1992)
Runtime: 61:08

1.  Just Squeeze Me (Duke Ellington/Lee Gaines) 8:45
2.  Tangerine (Johnny Mercer/Victor Schertzinger) 9:46
3.  Meditation (Norman Gimbel/Antonio Carlos Jobim/Newton Mendonça) 10:59
4.  Nuages (Jacques Larue/Django Reinhardt) 10:37
5.  Like Someone in Love (Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen) 9:50
6.  Things Ain't What They Used to Be (Mercer Ellington/Ted Persons) 11:11

Paul Desmond (Alto Saxophone)
Ed Bickert (Guitar)
Don Thompson (Double Bass)
Jerry Fuller (Drums)



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