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Paul Desmond

Biography

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Paul Desmond (born Paul Emil Breitenfeld; November 25, 1924 - May 30, 1977) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and composer, best known for the work he did in the Dave Brubeck Quartet and for composing that group's greatest hit, "Take Five". He was one of the most popular musicians to come out of the West Coast's cool jazz scene. In addition to his work with Brubeck, he led several of his own groups and did significant collaborations with artists such as Gerry Mulligan, Jim Hall and Chet Baker. After years of chain smoking and general poor health, Desmond succumbed to lung cancer in 1977 following one last tour with Brubeck. Early life: Desmond was born Paul Emil Breitenfeld in San Francisco, California, in 1924, the son of Shirley (née King) and Emil Aron Breitenfeld. His father was from a Jewish family from Bohemia and Austria, and his mother was Catholic; throughout his life, Desmond was unsure of his father's background. His father was a pianist, organist, and composer,...

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11:54pm Jul 25
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Paul Desmond

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