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First Place Again [Import, Original recording remastered]

Paul DesmondAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Gambit Spain
  • ASIN: B000AN024G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,817 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. East Of The Sun
2. For All We Know
3. I Get A Kick Out Of You
4. Greensleeves
5. Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West
6. Time After Time
7. You Go To My Head
8. Sussie

Editorial Reviews

Two of the most lyrical of all the great Jazzmen, the September 5-7, 1959, First Place Again sessions mark the first recorded collaboration between the superlative alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and guitar giant Jim Hall. The participation of the great MJQ bass and drum tandem of Percy Heath and Connie Kay keep things swinging in epic fashion. While the brilliance of each musician is evident throughout all eight tracks, these sessions showcase the band's capacity to create a lyrical, elegant, and always swinging collective sound. Gambit Records. 2005.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
(4)
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Question About This Man's Talent February 24, 2007
Format:Audio CD
I've often felt that Paul Desmond never really got the respect and recognition that he deserved as a jazz saxophonist. Part of the reason may have been his role in the Dave Brubeck quartet and the limitations it may have placed on his personal role in order to further the overall direction of the group. In his setting here, with guitarist Jim Hall, you will hear a Paul Desmond with much greater drive and intensity but the same eloquent and sophisticated harmonic conception that marked all of his work. There has never been a better motivic improvisor in jazz with the chops and the intellect to continue to fit his improvisational ideas into the chordal frame-work of whatever tune he was playing. I think that especially on "I Get a Kick out of You" for example, listeners will hear an intensity and swing that erase any doubt as to his legacy in the history of jazz alto saxophone. It brings to mind his collaborations with Gerry Mulligan and their two very successful recordings. If you don't have any Desmond recordings away from the Brubeck quartet, I urge you to buy this one. I think you'll thoroughly enjoy it. By the way, Jim Hall is no slouch, either. His spare, thoughtful solo creations seem to be a perfect compliment to Desmond's alto. I would give it my highest personal recommendation as a jazz listener and as a jazz saxophonist for over forty years.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contains hard-to-find "Suzie" January 19, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought this imported version of the CD because it contains Desmond's original composition "Suzie," which shows him at his lyrical best. I could sing that tune all day!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His Masters Voice May 6, 2012
By Jerlaw
Format:Audio CD
When a jazz musician has such a distinctive sound that you recognize him right away without being told, it is said "he has his own voice." This is a wonderful compliment to jazz musicians especially, because you are talking about guys like Dexter Gordon & Stanh Getz on tenor sax, Charlie Parker on alto, Ed Bickert or Herb Ellis on guitar, &, of course, Paul Desmond on alto. He has a very smooth tone, plays unending choruses(melodic riffs) on tunes (sometimes one chorus too many).

The title of this set by alto saxophonist Paul Desmond refers to his having placed first once again in the alto chair in the Downbeat poll. Released in 1959, First Place Again is the result of an unexpected gathering of the rhythm section of the Modern Jazz Quartet: Percy Heath and Connie Kay, and Jimmy Giuffre 3 guitarist Jim Hall. The four musicians were all unexpectedly at home in New York and took full advantage of cheap, after-hours recording studio time to play out this set of standards and a pair of newer tunes, John Lewis' great blues, "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West," and "East of the Sun (and West Of The Moon)," from a Princeton University theater work. The rest, including a fine reading of "Greensleeves," which is short and tight here, Cole Porter's "I Get a Kick out of You," J. Fred Coots' "For All We Known," "You Got to My Head" -- another Coots' tune -- and Sammy Cahn's "Time After Time," are done with an airy, amiable vibe, especially the work between Hall and the rhythm section, which is full of counterpoint and sharp accents. Desmond, of course, being at that time the king of melodic improvisation on the alto -- with the possible exception of Art Pepper's ascendancy -- is in fine form.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Sounds October 10, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
An easy listening album with some classic standards. The interfacing of Jim Hall's guitar and Desmond's horn is on the mellow side and misses the driving interlacing of a Desmond and Brubeck track. All in all with all consideration for experimentation, a good album of individual performing although it could have been stronger in the point - counterpoint mix.
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