Paul Desmond 

I remember first time I heard Brubeck’s Take Five  – it was Paul Desmond’s sex that drew me in, not Brubeck’s piano. Inventive without being dissonant Desmond is master musician. Seeing his name on an Lp is enough to guarantee good music. I heard Ten Five as a TV show intro, I think, or maybe on the radio & loved it. I picked up an lp of Brubeck’s hits.

He left Brubeck & launched a highly-successful solo career than spans decades. He’s explored duets, solos, groups – done covers of pop – his Paul Simon tribute lp is amazing. Over 2 mp3 collections I have, on the first: Two of a Mind – with Gerry Mulligan – his replacement in Brubeck’s group; Skylark; Pure; East Of The Sun; Bridge Over Troubled Water; alive set – Take the A Train with Brubeck; to round things out is Zoot Sims’ In A Sentimental Mood – another amazing sax play with less dry sound.

On the other is The P.D. Quartet Live: a double lp set with a fantastic Manha De Carnival; Duets: reunion with Brubeck: Koto Song is amazing. This cd is rounded out with with Brubeck’s Blues Roots featuring Mulligan – strong solid & less populist than Brubeck’s earlier work. Some very modern Russell Gunn: Mood Swings: I love this guy. A trumpet player in the Davis mold he does sweet & challenge work her. St Germain’s Tourist is a fine remix that gives jazz a dance club feel & everyone should own this amazing collection.

A couple of stand-alones: Feeling Blue: late night romantic & sweet; Bossa Antigua – Desmond explores latin rhythms frequently & this a set of nothing but Bossa & he gives it a relaxed compelling treatment.



John nudged the soft stomach of the horse with his foot. The horse’s head lifted slightly and the eye blinked open.

‘So yer on yer last legs! Ya useless nag.’

John felt no affection or sorrow for the horse. After three weeks on the trail the only bond between them had been the loose ropes that held the saddle or pulled the bit when John wanted to stop.

Flecks of foam drooled out of the horse’s mouth. John didn’t even want to waste a bullet to put the beast out its misery. He felt it was the horse’s fault, slipping like that on the bank of the dry river. A slip that broke a leg and now the beast lay useless.

John cursed himself. He shouldn’t have let that guy talk him into this old dun mare when he had his eye on a younger pie-bald. But the price was right at the time. Things he had to be careful of – money and bullets. He knew enough not to waste either of those commodities on anything.

When the horse had slipped and broken its leg he didn’t realize what had happened till he’d tried to get it back on its feet.

‘Horse,’ he’d said. ‘git up. Tis no time for restin’ here.’

But the horse had whinnied in pain and limped only a few steps before collapsing once again. It had taken him the better part of the day to get his saddle bags out from under it.

He prodded the horse once more and walked up to the higher bank. Dust everywhere. He felt he hadn’t been clean for weeks and now this. A horse he hadn’t even bothered to name. The dealer called her something but John hadn’t bothered to recall.

He looked at the pile of things he had to carry. Food, blankets, his Bible. How much of this stuff would he have to do without now?

He recalled the various pieces of furniture he had already passed on this trail. Wardrobes, kitchen chairs, stuff discarded to lighten the load of the wagons. He’d never catch up to those wagons now.

‘I won’t need that saddle.’ But he was reluctant to leave it despite the dead weight of it. It was a good saddle. Perfect for him but he knew it would get heavier with each foot step.

‘Pity to leave ya like this.’

He started along the bank. With luck he might make some distance before dusk. Every step took him closer to what? He’d know that when he got there.

#Toronto #music #photography #Jazz #review #amwriting #spokenword #nanowrimo #Brubeck #sax #Ontario

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November 1-30

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