Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Paul Desmond - Bossa Antigua

Bossa Antigua picks up the samba-based rim shots of drummer Connie Kay on Take Ten and tries to make a whole new record out of them. While the title track duplicates the original percolating groove of "El Prince," other tracks like "Samba Cantina" revert to a typical bossa nova rhythm of the period, which leads one to conclude that "bossa antigua" is merely whatever Desmond says it is. Of the album's two non-originals, "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," of course, is made-to-order for Desmond's wistful, sophisticated temperament, and he delivers exactly what a Desmond devotee would expect and love; and "A Ship Without a Sail" has some memorable off-the-cuff solo ideas. Jim Hall is around again to lend subtle rhythm support and low-key savvy in his solos, and like many Desmond companions of this period, he makes a fine sparring partner in the contrapuntal exchanges. The Brubeck Quartet's Gene Wright again lends a sturdy hand on bass. The playing is wonderful throughout, though just missing the full-throttle inspiration of Take Ten. - by Richard S. Ginell, AMG

The bossa was no longer nova when Paul Desmond got around to working in the style, but this 1964 recording ranks with the best Brazilian-inspired jazz. His pure, melodic approach required almost no adjustment (compared with Getz, for example) and his original writing, which dominates on this release, is strongly idiomatic. Connie Kay and Eugene Wright do great work in making the Bossa beat live and breathe. But the biggest attractions are Desmond's lovely sound and inspired phrasing, and the astonishing work of Jim Hall. Guitar fans don't like to hear it, but there are really no guitarists after Wes in the very top rank of soloists. Hall at his best does compare with any piano accompanist of the time, however, and his solos are as well-conceived as Tommy Flanagan's or Barry Harris'. The interplay between Hall and Desmond is always great, but the unhurried elegance of Bossa Antigua is special even for this great team. Three fine alternate takes enhance this very desirable release. - by Duck Baker, Jazztimes.com

Artist: Paul Desmond
Album: Bossa Antigua
Year: 1964
Label: BMG (1994)
Runtime: 50:46

1.  Bossa Antiqua (Paul Desmond) 4:35
2.  Samba Cepeda (Paul Desmond) 5:09
3.  The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (Buddy Bernier/Jerry Brainin) 4:47
4.  O Gato (Alternate take) (Jane Herbert) 4:56
5.  O Gato (Jane Herbert) 4:28
6.  Samba Cantina (Paul Desmond) 5:34
7.  Curacao Doloroso (Paul Desmond) 4:31
8.  A Ship Without a Sail (Lorenz Hart/Richard Rodgers) 6:16
9.  Alianca (Paul Desmond) 4:31
10.  The Girl from East 9th Street (Paul Desmond) 5:59

Paul Desmond (Alto Saxophone)
Jim Hall (Guitar)
Gene Wright (Double Bass)
Connie Kay (Drums)



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