Paul Desmond and Friends – “First Place Again” Playboy (WM 4020) (1960)

Despite being nominal second banana, the most distinctive sound in the Dave Brubeck Quartet no doubt belonged to alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, whose mellow tone is a virtual personification of cool. A similarly relaxed vibe pervades on this awkwardly titled Lp (an early Warner Brothers release) with able help from MJQ’s rhythm section (them again!) and contrast to Desmond’s day job provided by guitarist Jim Hall.

When I first picked this up at Sue Ryder in Sandwich, I put it back for being too beat up. I retrieved it and decided on closer inspection that it just needed a good wash; and while the sound quality might not be as good as I’d hoped (esp. for £2), it’s certainly much better than I feared.

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Published in: on April 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. what exactly does the title mean? i can only guess that he won first place in a poll for saxophonists conducted by playboy magazine…. hey, maybe that’s where the expression “jazz mag” come from ho ho!

  2. I think it’s something like that. Playboy mag was noted in its early years for supporting jazz music.

  3. Thanks for the write-up on this Desmond album.


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