Stereo Review (2/93, p.124) - "...[a] wonderful find....Desmond's lyrical approach and keen sense of composition could have turned any tune into something delightful..."
Personnel: Paul Desmond (alto saxophone); Ed Bickert (guitar); Don Thompson (bass); Jerry Fuller (drums).
Recorded live at The Bourbon Street Jazz Club, Toronto, Canada on March 29, 1975. Includes liner notes by Donald Elfman.
In 1992, Telarc unveiled a series of performances from the vault on a short-lived label punningly entitled "Telarchive," beginning with this long-delayed encore to the original releases from Paul Desmond's "Canadian" quartet. Recorded live in Toronto's Bourbon Street Jazz Club several months before the live dates released on Horizon and Artists House, it finds Desmond growing comfortable with his new Toronto friends but not quite settled into their laid-back ways quite yet. There are passages in this session where Desmond sounds a bit uncharacteristically scattered and unfocused, where guitarist Ed Bickert becomes the more fluid and stable solo partner, and bassist (and engineer) Don Thompson takes a lengthy solo on every track. Desmond seems to produce his best work in the material that he seems most familiar with. The title track is the one that catches fire most brightly (with a wry assist from "We're in the Money") and "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" finds him working in some clever asides from, yes, Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloe." The wistful European melancholy of Django Reinhardt's "Nuages" suits him perfectly and Jobim's "Meditation" makes its first appearance on a Desmond recording. The boxy, confined live sound doesn't suit the late saxophonist -- nor, obviously, the perfectionist standards at Telarc -- but every precious unreleased note from Desmond is definitely worth sampling at whatever sonic level. ~ Richard S. Ginell