Paul Desmond: Polka Dots and Moonbeams
Polka Dots and Moonbeams
Paul Desmond (alto sax)
Easy Living (BMG 37544)
Composed by Jimmy Van Heusen & Johnny Burke.
Recorded: New York, June 5, 1963
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
It's always the fellows you least suspect. Never loitered an unlikelier Lothario: bony, balding, bookish and bespectacled. Yet Paul Desmond was such a ladies man that his biographer Doug Ramsey devotes an entire chapter to the subject. Either Paul's playing wowed the fair sex, or his preparation. Here, for instance, Desmond cagily delegates the opening chorus to Jim Hall, enabling Paul to gently shake (not stir) his celebrated "dry-martini" alto for best effect. Then, and only then, does 007—i.e., Desmond—cozy up to this pliant standard for a brief but blissful encounter. Casanova Milquetoast scores again.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz