Paul Desmond

Born 25 November 1924. Died 30 May 1977.
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The history of the saxophone part 2: alto - The Jazz House

The Jazz House charts the history of the saxophone with Richard Michael. Part two features the alto sax.

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Biography

Paul Desmond (born Paul Emil Breitenfeld; November 25, 1924 – May 30, 1977) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and composer, best known for the work he did in the Dave Brubeck Quartet and for penning that group's greatest hit, "Take Five". He was one of the most popular musicians to come out of the West Coast's cool jazz scene, and the possessor of a legendary and idiosyncratic wit.

In addition to his work with Brubeck, he led several of his own groups and did significant collaborations with artists such as Gerry Mulligan, Jim Hall and Chet Baker. After years of chain smoking and general poor health, Desmond succumbed to lung cancer in 1977 following one last tour with Brubeck.

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