Music: Live

The Paul Desmond Quartet

The composer of Take Five claimed he wanted his alto saxophone to sound like a dry martini. Desmond's wish came true on this 1975 cool-jazz masterpiece, finally available on CD after two decades in limbo. Backed up by Canadian super-guitarist Ed Bickert, Desmond, who died in 1977, spins out long, pungent melodic lines that float through the air with luminous grace. Best of all is a slyly witty version of Things Ain't What They Used to Be that would have made Duke Ellington grin.

--By Terry Teachout

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!