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Bridge Over Troubled Water

Paul Desmond

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Album Review

Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water was the hottest album in the land in 1970, and Paul Simon's tunes from that and their earlier albums unexpectedly find a congenial advocate in Paul Desmond. Against the odds as determined by bopsters, Desmond finds something beautiful, wistful, and/or sly to say in each of these ten tunes, backed by Herbie Hancock's Rhodes electric piano and a set of ravishing, occasionally overstated (as in "America") orchestrations by Don Sebesky. "The 59th Street Bridge Song" is given a jaunty, carefree rendition, adapting quite well to a jazz treatment (after all, Desmond's old teammate in the Brubeck quartet Joe Morello played drums on S&G's original record) and Desmond even does some cascading overdubs on his solo part. "Cecilia" is a fast samba, Desmond cleverly works his old "Sacre Blues" into the solo on "El Condor Pasa," and the title track has a breathtakingly pretty fadeout. Hancock's solos often reflect where he was personally at in 1970, with ideas transferred from his progressive electric Sextet. This is a Creed Taylor production in all but name; the sound, track editing, and production values are right in line with the A&M CTI line, but Sebesky is listed as producer, Taylor having recently severed his ties with A&M to form his own label. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

the one to get

Normally I hate this kind of thing but the arrangements and the quality of the players on this album make this one of my all time favorites. Usually jazz guys doing rock material is really cheesy and often to hear them try to play something that isn't swing is just sad. This proves it can be done and done well. Don Sebesky did the arranging and Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Jerry Jermott, Airto and Joao Palma among others backed Desmond. I would put it in the "as close to perfect as it gets" catagory.

Biography

Born: November 25, 1924 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Paul Desmond is widely recognized for his genius as a melodic improviser and as the benchmark of cool jazz sax players. His warm, elegant tone was one that he admittedly tried to make sound like a dry martini. He and Art Pepper were virtually the only alto players of their generation not directly influenced by Charlie Parker. Desmond was influenced by Lester Young, but took it further, into melodic and harmonic worlds never before traveled by reedmen — especially in the upper registers. Desmond...
Full Bio
Bridge Over Troubled Water, Paul Desmond
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 1969

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