A Tribute To Paul Desmond
Primrose Lane Music #15
Released March, 2011
Recorded Live At The A-Frame
Recording engineer: Alison Moffet
Mixed and mastered by: Rod Nicas
Photography: Terance Love
Graphic design: www.terancelove.com
Bruce Babad – Alto Sax
Larry Koonse – Guitar
Ed Czach – Piano
Luther Hughes – Bass
Steve Barnes – Drums
My parents raised me on the music of Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, and Paul Desmond. They were all master improvisers with an uncanny knack at being able to create beautiful, compelling melodies on the spot. This tribute to Paul Desmond is my way of expressing appreciation to his life of stellar music. Doug Ramsey’s book, “Take Five, The Private and Public Life of Paul Desmond” inspired and clarified this homage.
Line For Lyons (G. Mulligan) 6:48 Composed by Gerry Mulligan in honor of Jimmy Lyons – San Francisco broadcaster and jazz promoter. The countermelody played by Larry Koonse on guitar is the same countermelody employed by Mulligan from, “Gerry Mulligan / Paul Desmond Quartet”.
When Sunny Gets Blue (Fisher-Segal) 10:40 This bossa-nova version came from Desmond’s Toronto Quartet recording, “Paul Desmond”.
It's You I Like (Fred Rogers) 7:52 This song came from “Mister Rogers Neighborhood”. Fred Rogers spent his life speaking into the lives, hearts and imaginations of American youth all underscored by Johnny Costa’s swinging piano playing. Fred was a gifted composer, his song, It’s You I like” with its touching lyrics has been a favorite of mine for years.
My Funny Valentine (Rodgers-Hart) 6:15 Our version is based on Bob Prince’s arrangement from “Desmond Blue” - George Avkian’s first project for Desmond at RCA. The orchestra, arrangements and brilliant performances from Paul make “Desmond Blue my favorite recording of Paul Desmond.
Things Ain't What They Used To Be 7:16 (D. Ellington) Our version of the Duke Ellington classic was based on Paul’s Toronto quartet from the recording, “The Paul Desmond Quartet Live”.
Wendy 6:18 P. Desmond) “Wendy” became Desmond’s best known composition after “Take Five”. The melody is a contrafact to one of his favorite ballads, “For All We Know”.
Take Five 5:45 (P. Desmond) When Dave Brubeck announced his interest in recording all odd-meter tunes (“Time Out”) he asked the guys to see what they could write for the project. Paul came back with several melodies based in 5/4 time. Brubeck took the bridge from one of Paul’s lines, made it the “A” section and used another Desmond idea for the bridge and “Take Five” was born. The Middle Eastern flavor we use for the solo section came from “The Paul Desmond Quartet Live”.
Jan 7:39 (B.Babad - BMI) I wrote this song for my wife, Jan. It’s in three (like the three letters in Jan) with a pretty, simple melody over some unusual chords. The song is meant to be a tribute to the many facets of her beauty and personality.
Desmond Blue 6:22 (P. Desmond) Desmond Blue is the title track from my favorite Desmond recording. Notice Larry’s beautiful chord solo on this one. Paul’s recorded solo was so perfect I had to write out the first chorus for Larry and I to play as a shout chorus. The chorus that follows is Jim Hall’s brilliant solo from the same recording.
B•A•B•A•D 7:38 (B. Babad - BMI)As the title implies, this song is based on the five notes/letters of my last name. The melody is B-A-B-A-D, B-A-B-A-D, blah, blah, blah. The bridge chord line is B7 – A7 – B7 – A7 – D7. Good thing I didn’t have a last name like “Breitenfeld”!
Special thanks to: Betty Hoover and her wonderful friends at the “A-Frame”. Rod Nicas who poured his heart into the mixing process. Thank you to Dr. Harry & Joan Babad, and Joe & Dee Miskov for contributing financially to this project. Thank you also to my wife Jan, our boys, Miles & Julian and the Wylie family for covering this concert and recording in prayer. Lastly, thank you to Terance Love (Steamers Jazz Café) for the wonderful photograph and graphic design.