Desmond’s Quotes-I Want To Be Happy

Paul Desmond counted Gerry Mulligan as one of his friends, and enjoyed playing with him on records and in live performances.  This friendship was evident in Paul’s music,as he often drew upon Mulligan’s innovative piano-less quartet format for his own recording sessions.  Desmond also had Mulligan’s records, and he used many of the tunes from Mulligan’s book as fodder for his own solos.  This week, we spotlight Desmond’s solo on the old show tune ‘I Want To Be Happy’ from Dave Brubeck’s first album for Columbia, ‘Jazz Goes To College’, recorded in the spring of 1954 at Ann Arbor, University of Michigan.  It is an exuberant performance, full of the energy and excitement that Brubeck and the quartet often displayed when playing before college audiences.  Prodded by drummer Joe Dodge’s bass drum accents and incessant cymbal, Paul delivers a spunky, humorous solo.  It’s in his first chorus that he uses the melody of Mulligan’s tune ‘Bark For Barksdale’ as inspiration.  Here’s the Gerry Mulligan Quartet debuting the tune on the Fantasy album ‘Gerry Mulligan Quartet’, recorded September 2, 1952 with Gerry Mulligan on baritone saxophone, Chet Baker on trumpet, Carson Smith on bass, and Chico Hamilton on drums. Here’s the Dave Brubeck Quartet performing ‘I Want To Be Happy’, with Dave at the piano, Desmond at the alto sax, Joe Dodge on drums and Bob Bates on bass.  See if you can find it.

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