Desmond & Brubeck - The Duets (1975)
Front Cover Album Info
Artist/Composer Desmond & Brubeck
Title The Duets
Length 37:33 Discs: 1 Tracks: 8
Format HQ 192+ kbps Packaging Jewel Case
Label Universal Cat. Number 394915
Style Cool Rating
Recorded 1975 
Musicians Credits
Paul Desmond sax alto
Dave Brubeck piano
Producer John Snyder
Engineer Elvin Campbell
Track list
Alice In Wonderland (Fain/Hilliard) 04:05
These Foolish Things (Link/Marvell/Strachey) 05:10
Blue Dove ((public domain)) 04:34
Stardust (Carmichael/Parish) 04:40
Koto Song (Brubeck) 05:57
Balcony Rock (Brubeck/Desmond) 02:17
Summer Song (Brubeck) 03:19
You Go To My Head (Coots/H.Gillespie) 07:31
Although Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond made many rewarding recordings
together, this was their only duo album; it was inspired by several duo
performances on board a cruise ship. Their magical ESP is evident from start
to finish. Brubeck's lyricism throughout these sessions will surprise
critics who label him as "bombastic," while Desmond, known for his pure
dry-toned alto sax, throws a few curves to his longtime fans. The loping
waltz treatment of "Alice in Wonderland" and a delicate interpretation of
the Mexican folk song "The Blue Dove" contrast with their abstract approach
to "Stardust." The especially adventurous introduction to Brubeck's oriental
blues "Koto Song" opens with Desmond providing percussion by tapping on his
instrument's keys without blowing; the piece then slowly evolves from
random-sounding fragments into its haunting theme. Their return visit to
"Balcony Rock," a collaborative effort from the 1950s, is an absolutely
buoyant miniature. Brubeck performs his "Summer Song" alone in a mood of
celebration, unlike the wistful flavor of his first recording of it with
Louis Armstrong. The audio source for "You Go to My Head" is a BBC videotape
made during the concert which inspired the making of this album, but the
memorable interaction between the two musicians during this performance
should be considered one of the high points of their respective careers.
This 2002 CD reissue improves upon the wretched sound of the original LP
(caused by use of recycled vinyl) and an earlier CD which omitted Desmond's
liner notes and most of the photos. This limited-edition disc is beautifully
packaged in a mini-LP gatefold cover with a soft cloth sleeve for the disc.
This is an essential acquisition for fans of Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.
~ Ken Dryden, All Music Guide