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Paul Desmond|Glad To Be Unhappy

Glad To Be Unhappy

Paul Desmond

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Even though Desmond was kidding when he described himself as the world's slowest alto player, this record bears out the kernel of truth within the jest. Here, Desmond set out to make a record of love songs and torch ballads, so the tempos are very slow to medium, the mood is of wistful relaxation, and the spaces between the notes grow longer. At first glance, Desmond may seem only peripherally involved with the music-making, keeping emotion at a cool, intellectual arms' length, yet his exceptionally pure tone and ruminative moods wear very well over the long haul. Again, Jim Hall is his commiserator and partner, and the guitarist gets practically as much space to unwind as the headliner; the solo on "Angel Eyes" is an encyclopedia of magnificent chording and single-string eloquence. Gene Wright returns on bass, spelled by Gene Cherico on "Poor Butterfly," and Connie Kay's brush-dominated drum work is pushed even further into the background. A lovely recording, though not the best album in the Desmond/Hall collaboration.

© Richard S. Ginell /TiVo

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Glad To Be Unhappy

Paul Desmond

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1
Glad to Be Unhappy
00:05:44

Eugene Wright, Acoustic Bass - Paul Desmond, Alto Saxophone - George Avakian, Producer - Lorenz Hart, Lyricist - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Connie Kay, Drums - Jim Hall, Guitar

Originally released 1965. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Poor Butterfly
00:07:17

Raymond Hubbell, Composer - Paul Desmond, Alto Saxophone - John Golden, Lyricist - George Avakian, Producer - Gene Cherico, Bass - Connie Kay, Drums - Jim Hall, Guitar

Originally released 1965. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Stranger In Town
00:06:23

Eugene Wright, Bass - Paul Desmond, Alto Saxophone - George Avakian, Producer - Mel Tormé, Composer - Connie Kay, Drums - Jim Hall, Guitar

Recorded Prior to 1972. All Rights Reserved by BMG Entertainment

4
A Taste of Honey
00:04:25

Eugene Wright, Bass - Paul Desmond, Alto Saxophone - Ric Marlow, Composer - George Avakian, Producer - Bobby Scott, Composer - Connie Kay, Drums - Jim Hall, Guitar

Originally released 1965. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
Any Other Time
00:05:23

Eugene Wright, Bass - Paul Desmond, Composer - Paul Desmond, Alto Saxophone - George Avakian, Producer - Connie Kay, Drums - Jim Hall, Guitar

Originally released 1965. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo
00:04:41

Eugene Wright, Bass - Paul Desmond, Alto Saxophone - George Avakian, Producer - Bronislaw Kaper, Composer - Helen Deutsch, Composer - Connie Kay, Drums - Jim Hall, Guitar

Originally released 1965. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Angel Eyes
00:06:18

Eugene Wright, Acoustic Bass - Paul Desmond, Alto Saxophone - George Avakian, Producer - Matt L. Dennis, Composer - Connie Kay, Drums - Jim Hall, Guitar - Earl K. Brent, Composer

Originally released 1965. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
By the River Sainte Marie
00:06:15

Eugene Wright, Bass - Paul Desmond, Alto Saxophone - George Avakian, Producer - Edgar Leslie, Lyricist - Harry Warren, Composer - Connie Kay, Drums - Jim Hall, Guitar

Originally recorded 1964 & released 1987. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
All Across The City
00:04:30

Eugene Wright, Acoustic Bass - Paul Desmond, Alto Saxophone - George Avakian, Producer - Connie Kay, Drums - Jim Hall, Composer - Jim Hall, Guitar

Originally recorded 1964 & released 1987. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
All Through The Night
00:05:26

Eugene Wright, Bass - Paul Desmond, Alto Saxophone - George Avakian, Producer - Cole Porter, Composer - Connie Kay, Drums - Jim Hall, Guitar

Originally recorded 1964 & released 1987. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Album review

Even though Desmond was kidding when he described himself as the world's slowest alto player, this record bears out the kernel of truth within the jest. Here, Desmond set out to make a record of love songs and torch ballads, so the tempos are very slow to medium, the mood is of wistful relaxation, and the spaces between the notes grow longer. At first glance, Desmond may seem only peripherally involved with the music-making, keeping emotion at a cool, intellectual arms' length, yet his exceptionally pure tone and ruminative moods wear very well over the long haul. Again, Jim Hall is his commiserator and partner, and the guitarist gets practically as much space to unwind as the headliner; the solo on "Angel Eyes" is an encyclopedia of magnificent chording and single-string eloquence. Gene Wright returns on bass, spelled by Gene Cherico on "Poor Butterfly," and Connie Kay's brush-dominated drum work is pushed even further into the background. A lovely recording, though not the best album in the Desmond/Hall collaboration.

© Richard S. Ginell /TiVo

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