Ahhh . . . The genius of Paul Desmond and Jim Hall
! Desmond was the icy alto tone behind Dave Brubeck's legendary quartet of the late 50s and early 60s – and although we always liked his work with Dave, Paul's even better on his own! Desmond has a lanquid, lyrical tones that's simply beyond compare – and in the right setting, he crafts these snaking, inching, arcing lines that take the alto sax to a whole new level of expression. In these sides with guitarist Jim Hall
, he's certainly in the right setting – as modernist Hall
, fresh from work with the Jimmy Guiffre 3, really helps set the mode on these recordings, painting colors with a subtle brush, filling in spaces ever so gently as Desmond angles his way around tunes that have an increasingly Latin bent to them. The first album in the set features tracks from Desmond's rare 1959 Warner Brothers album , plus an obscure tune ("Susie") that was only ever issued on a 1959 Playboy compilation. The remaining 5 LPs feature tracks from Desmond's sublime RCA sessions from the early 60s - sparely recorded with only bass and drums behind work by him and Hall
. Titles include "All Across The City", "East Of The Sun", "Greensleeves", "Rude Old Man", "Samba Cantina", "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West", "Samba De Orfeu", and loads more.
(Out of print, and in nice shape.)