Dave Brubeck & Paul Desmond: You Go to My Head (1952)


You Go to My Head


Dave Brubeck (piano) and Paul Desmond (alto sax)


Dave Brubeck & Paul Desmond (Fantasy 24727)

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Dave Brubeck (piano), Paul Desmond (alto sax).

Composed by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie


Recorded: Storyville, Boston, October 1952


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

    Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond at Birdland, photo by Marcel Fleiss

This is the quintessential cool jazz duet. A quarter of a century after this recording was made, Brubeck and Desmond had such fond memories of "You Go to My Head" that they resurrected the song for their 1975 duet session on the A&M label. But this 1952 meeting-of-minds will not be topped. Desmond was never more lyrical, Brubeck never more sensitive, and the rapt attention of the audience is palpable. This 1952 Storyville session, which also produced a stunning version of "Over the Rainbow," stands out as a landmark event, the refinement of a new aesthetic attitude toward jazz. Desmond slyly quotes Charlie Parker mid-solo, but the performance subverts the bop conventions in every measure. Jazz fans who want to understand the chemistry between these two artists should start right here.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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