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Pure Desmond Extra tracks, Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Import, September 22, 2003
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$8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

CTI Master Series remastered reissue of 1975 album for the cool jazz alto sax player famous for his association with the Dave Brubeck Quartet features 13 tracks including 5 bonus tracks, 'Theme from M*A*S*H', 'Wave', 'Nuages' (alt. Take previously unreleased), 'Squeeze Me' (alt. Take previously unreleased) & 'Till the Clouds Roll By' (alt. Take previously unreleased). 2003.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 22, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Import
  • Label: SONY MUSIC UK
  • ASIN: B0000AK0D4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,506 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After the Dave Brubeck quartet, Paul Desmond recorded primarily in three settings: a guitar based quartet with Jim Hall featuring Connie Kay on drums, on a series of flawed, over-orchestrated albums with Ron Carter on bass and many, many back-up musicians, and finally, in a humble quartet with little known guitarist Ed Bickert. This album is unique because it finds Desmond in the quartet setting that suits him the best, but with a mix of all the different musicians he'd played with: Connie Kay, Ron Carter and Ed Bickert; all together for the first and only time! These are four great musicians and the album does in fact live up to their promise. Fans of any of these musicians would do well to pick up this album as they all get a chance to shine. Kay drums smooth, Carter is one of the greatest bassists ever, and Ed Bickert's guitar is distinctly different from Jim Halls (it's a bit more plucky, in lay-mans terms, but in a good way- it's complimented by Carter's bass and provides great support for Desmond) and Paul Desmond, well, Desmond proves why he's the greatest alto sax player. This is one of the best solo Desmond outtings out there, so don't pass it up.
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Format: Audio CD
I recently compared the new 40th Anniversary edition of this classic CTI album with the original CD release (from 1990, I believe). I was very surprised at the differences I heard.

First, the high frequencies of the 40th Anniversary have been rolled off, as if the treble control on your amplifier had been turned down substantially. On some songs, the cymbals seem to virtually disappear, and the overtones of the guitar and saxophone become muted and clouded.

Second, on the majority of the 40th Anniversary tracks, the instruments of the quartet have been all bunched up in the center of the soundstage, as if the album was mixed in mono. The original CD release has a more open soundstage with sax and guitar usually on opposite channels, Ron Carter's bass and drums in the center.

Third, the timing of the songs is not the same. Nuages is nearly a minute shorter in the 40th Anniversary release. Other songs vary in lesser degrees. I do not know the reason for this cutting and trimming. I don't like it.

This revisionism really puzzles me. Perhaps it is closer to the original vinyl, though I do not have the vinyl so that would be speculation. Other 40th Anniversary CTI releases I have found pleasing. But this one falls short. The original CD release sounds more detailed and open. The 40th Anniversary sounds tends to sound like a 1950s recording with the highs rolled off to hide the tape hiss. But there is no bothersome hiss on the original CD to hide.

They really dropped the ball on this release, in my opinion.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this because i like Desmond and had heard some Bickert. I assumed they'd be good together, boy was i wrong....THEY ARE FANTASTIC! When listening to other jazz, at up tempo's, with complex harmony etc sometimes it just seems too much. Because of the speed i just can't catch everything that's happening and get frustrated. This album on the whole has good mid-tempo tunes, an excellent sound mix enabling you to hear all of the individual instruments, and plain good tunes. Desmond has his trademark sound and plays some nice musical ideas. As a guitar player I found Bickert to be amazing. Everybody plays fast, long single note lines these days, but Ed plays chords like nobody else, he kind of sounds like a piano, a bit of Bill Evans maybe ? Together they create amazing music with nice solos where you can hear that they are keeping the melody foremost in their minds as they play. The bottom line is that there is no ego here at all, just a great collaboration by the whole band, the nearest comparison i can think of is the Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Chet Baker. I'll let someone else have the final words, my wife, who said 'That's great, who is it ?'
You know it makes sense, buy this album !
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Format: Audio CD
As a huge Desmond fan (well, not so sizeable, but enthusiastic) for many decades, I've concluded that, for me, Desmond is best when he is in a minimal setting with a few capable musicians - this is usually a trio or quartet format without strings, orchestration or overdubs. I find that of the dozens of Desmond recordings I own, the over-produced and over-orchestrated ones get in the way of the true art and essence of Desmond.
The oft quoted "Desmond is (smooth) like a dry martini" has more than one truth to it - both are at their best with only four choice ingredients (gin, vermouth, olive, ice - or alto, bass, drums, guitar or piano). Desmond is so deceptively smooth, adept, and lyrical that he needs to be heard uncluttered and unfettered.
For me, some of Desmond's best recordings are in the quartet format with either Jim Hall or Ed Bickert on guitar. If you can't get the now out of print Mosaic label 4 CD set with Jim Hall (those 4 CDs would be 4 of my 5 desert-island-discs and I listen to a lot of music from Bach to blues), then at least get whatever you can of Desmond w. Hall or Bickert.
There is a saying that "if a man don't like the blues he's got a hole in his soul" - well, if someone can't appreciate Desmond at his best, they've got a void in their psyche - and "Pure Desmond" is one example of Desmond at his best.
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