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Bridge Over Troubled Water Import, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Desmond came up with a winner when he decided to record these cool-jazz covers of Paul Simon tunes (aided beautifully by Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter). CD debut for Mrs. Robinson; Scarborough Fair/Canticle; America; Old Friends ; the title song, and the rest of this 1969 gem!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 18, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B0013F3XLO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,357 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is a vibrant and sensual arrangement of Paul Simon's finest music of the Sixties. The lush arrangements of Don Sebesky allow Paul Desmond to carry these melodies with ease without distracting the listener. Desmond successfully evokes and conveys the romantic and often times haunting "cinematic" qualities of Paul Simon's lyrics. Desmond's rendition of each melody is so lyrical, you could swear the words were being sung. What is so magical is that Paul Desmond can seamlessly connect his solos to the melodies without losing the essence of each piece. (America is a vibrant example of this.) No doubt this is a signature trait of Paul Desmond's sound.The listener will not get lost in some esoteric free form solo and then suddenly brought back to some truncated melody. Desmond takes you through a gorgeous journey of melodic exploration before recapping gently bringing back the listener to the theme. Those who are familiar with Desmond's work in the quartet setting may not appreciate Don Sebesky's instrumental backdrop. Unlike some of the vapid "sleazy listening" renditions of Beatles tunes bleeding through the elevator speakers, Don Sebesky gives girth to each piece with well thought out textures that will not leave you limp. It would simple to dismiss this overlooked jem as an "easy listening" Album. Hardly so, Desmond's rich thematic explorations in Paul Simons music is a veiled complexity that will give any listener, student of jazz , professional musician or any composer many hours of listening pleasure. The players on this session read as a "who's who of jazz." : Herbie Hancock, Airto, Ron Carter, just to name a few.
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By E. Macomber on June 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Creed Taylor/Desmond gem is about as good as he did, and I am among those audiophiles that have been burned far too many times by my "favorite" artists trying to interpret current "pop" music in a genre which frankly should generally stick to what it knows best. But when you hear the title tune, you are convinced that Don Sebesky knew where this was going from the very inseption. This is one "customs overpriced" cd you will thank God for. Lush, so well arranged that I wore the vinyl record out twice. "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" is a song most jazz artists would not touch, yet this one is so lush, it will blow your mind.."how did they do that?" Incidently, if you are a drummer, you'll flip over the emphasized sound here! Finally, for once a collection of music that probably could pass muster for more styles than any disc you'll ever own. It is jazz, easy listening, pop, and so close to new age it is hard to believe this was recorded so long ago. Desmond was infamous for blowing so soft it seemed like he used a whisper to play and you'll never hear him softer, over-all, than here!
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Format: Audio CD
I came across the reissue of this 1970 album by accident. The days of finding out a jazz reissue by going through the stacks of a brick and mortar store are gone and this is not a reissue to make any major headlines. However,it is a fine little album;glad to see it as an actual CD and not a download.Note that Leonard Feather gave this popjazz LP 5 stars in a 1970 issue of DownBeat.
This is a collection of Paul Simon instrumentals(Simon is not responsible for the music on"El Condor Pasa" and "Scarborough Fair")done by the great alsto sax player,Paul Desmond,known to the masses for his work in the Dave Brubeck Quartet and writer of that group's most famous tubne, "Take five". "Lyrical" is probaly the best single word description for Desmond,and it shows here.
The album was the first jazz release by A&M after a brief relationship with producer Creed Taylor. Taylor was responsible for a series of popjazz recordings for Verve,A&M and his own CTI imprint and was responsible for the bossa nova albums by Stan Getz and Wes Montgomery. The arranger on some of the Mongomery sessions,Don Sebesky,acts as producer and arranger here and it doesn't stray far from the Taylor template. Lots of all star session guys(Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter) and strings and brass. This is one case where Sebesky holds back with the extras and it helps. The songs have a amazing musical quality away from the lyrics,considering that they come from Simon's folkie days paired with Art Garfunkel,where the lyrics are held above the musical content. The arrangements are inventive;the players spot on and the album is quite listenable. Every track,repeatedly. I've owned this album on vinyl since its original relase and it still holds up. Even Herbie's electric piano shows no aging.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is a great combination of covers, but they go beyond entertaining retellings. Herbie Hancock's keyboard playing lends to Paul Desmond's smooth, in-control, sometimes funky renditions of great Paul Simon singles. They turn this album into a soundscape, a blanket of groovy music. A relaxing listen that will be played over and over again.
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Format: Audio CD
I am coming to feel, after listening to Paul Desmond for over forty years, that he might just be the most melodic improviser in the history of jazz. Even Bird at his finest doesn't make PD sound anything less than what he was: a phenomenally gifted musician who almost never wanked at all. Just pure melody, all the time, which as any player will tell you is the hardest thing for an improvising musician to achieve. And this collection of Paul Simon tunes---one of the most melodic of all pop composers---is exactly as wonderful as one would expect. I love it more than any other Desmond album.

I first got this on vinyl in the mid-1980s, finding it for 99 cents one fine summer day in the bargain bin of some used record and antique emporium in our little town. I brought it home, opened the windows and put it on loud so as to hear it with some very music-loving friends in the yard, where we were relaxing with a few cocktails. It should be mentioned here that Desmond was a prolific drinker, almost legendary according to his contemporaries, yet even though I have over twenty of his solo records and dozens with longtime cohort Brubeck, plus a whole bunch of bootleg tapes of Desmond in various live situations, I can't find one place where he sounds hammered. Happily floating, yes, all the time! But never really ripped. Which, coming from a guy who said he wanted to sound "like a dry martini", is pretty impressive. He knew how to lay back like few others ever have, and I can't even imagine him overplaying: how many jazz guys can you say that about?

So there we are, lying in the sun on a perfect July day with icy margaritas perched on our stomachs, and this almost ridiculously sublime music wafts out the window.
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