AOTW: Paul Desmond, "From The Hot Afternoon"

If you own or have heard this album, how would you rate it?

  • * * * * * (Best)

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • * * * *

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • * * * (Average)

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • * *

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Haven't heard this album

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    8
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Rudy

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PAUL DESMOND
FROM THE HOT AFTERNOON

SP3024 (Released 1969)

sp3024.jpg

Vinyl, Cassette and 8 Track
(Reissued on CD as CD0824 in 1988)

Produced by Creed Taylor
Engineered by Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studios
Recorded on June 24 & 25, Aug 13 & 14, 1969
Arranged by Don Sebesky
Liner Notes by Gene Lees
Cover Photos by Pete Turner
Album Design by Sam Antupit

Alto Saxaphone: Paul Desmond

Track Listing:

1. October (Nascimento/Brant) 2:55
2. Round N' Round (Nascimento/Borges) 4:30
3. Faithful Brother (Nascimento) 3:00
4. To Say Goodbye (Lobo) 4:00
5. From The Hot Afternoon (Nascimento) 3:19
6. Circles (Lobo) 3:40
7. Martha & Romao (Lobo) 3:00
8. Catavento (Nascimento) 2:40
9. Latin Chant (Nascimento) 4:20
10. Crystal Illusions (Lobo/Hall/Guarnieri)
 

snapcrotch

New Member
The best blend of Brasilian music and Stateside saxophone since 'Getz/Gilberto'. This is completely exquisite and sumptuous. Sebesky is totally 'on form' -- just listen to how he sets up the first minute of Edu Lobo's 'Martha and Romao' and your flight to the islands is well underway with cool drink in hand.
 

Rudy

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This is my favorite A&M Desmond, mainly for the Nascimento and Lobo tracks. I can't really pick a favorite, as I like most of them equally. And at least "Crystal Illusions" is shorter than the bombastic, overdone Brasil '66 version... :confused: (Although I don't really care for it in either flavor.)

-= N =-
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
This is one you should definitely file with your Jobim, Wanderley, Tamba 4, Milton Nascimento, Bossa Rio, Edu Lobo and all those Sergio Mendes albums.

Very appropriate arrangements from Don Sebeskey--just the right touch compared to overwhelming Wes Montgomery with his "Super Baroque" Treatments.

Despite the rather plain cover, (Can think of some shots from Rio De Janiero Pete Turner could'a hung there!) Desmond seems to have his Brasilian Groove to a "T".

Nice he was able to do "Crystal Illusions" in half the time and more to the point, compared to Segio Mendes & Brasil '66. But that was more on account of Mendes having done it on the West Coast with David "Gruesome" Grusin, compared to the more balanced Desmond/straightforward Sebeskey approach.

Another 5-Star A&M/CTi Release, Baby!!!!

Dave

Gioccho Adesso: Paul Desmond "Take Ten" SKYLARK featuring Gabor Szabo CTi 6039

...my favorite Desmond on CTi, post A&M/CTi release...
 

Harry

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Though the discography lists a CD from 1988, this is one of the A&M/CTi albums that was released on that Verve By Request series before the Universal gutting of the labels. Oddly, the disc didn't use the same ochre-label treatment that they gave the Sergio Mendes and Jobim albums, but rather used the silver-stylized label like on LPJim's avatar - making it somewhat unique in the A&M world.

Though I've never been a huge fan of the jazz releases, I bought this one and find it quite nice to listen to when I'm in a jazzier mood -- I suppose because of the Brazilian themes throughout. I also like the inclusion of Wanda de Sah on a few of the vocals.

The Verve By Request release, (313 543 487-2) came in a Digipak with an enclosed booklet containing the original and reprinted (for easier reading) liner notes. On the disc itself are some rather repetitive bonus tracks with alternate takes of some of the songs. They are:

11. Girou Girou (Round'n'Round) - alternate take 4:14
12. Faithful Brother - alternate take 2:38
13. From The Hot Afternoon - alternate take 3:40
14. Catevento - alternate take 2:22
15. Canto Latino - alternate take 3:52
16. From The Hot Afternoon - alternate take 2:38

Harry
NP: From The Hot Afternoon, Paul Desmond
 

Rudy

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The Verve By Request edition sounds better than the original "gatefold" digipak, although I prefer the earlier digipak's format because it more closely resembled the LP (without the Verve graphics). The only good thing about the disposable bonus tracks is that you get to hear the basic Desmond combo without Sebesky's glop all over them. :rolleyes:

-= N =-
 

snapcrotch

New Member
There's one other curious difference between the 1988 Digi-pak and the By Request of 2000 --- the credits for arranging on the back covers.
Digi-pak: "Arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman"
By Request: "Paul Desmond with Don Sebesky and orchestra...Don Sebesky (arranger)."
Even Gene Lees' original LP release liner notes only refer to Sebesky as arranger, no mention of Ogerman, and neither is credited on the back LP jacket. By Request does include the following fine print:"Orchestra parts overdubbed later." Might this be where Ogerman entered the picture?
M.I.A. Dept. -- The absence of Corner contributor William from this Desmond thread is particularly felt. ("Where are ya, buddy? Need to hear from you. Hope you're okay.")
 

Rudy

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I was just wondering where William was at myself! If I recall, he has the opposite feeling about From The Hot Afternoon as we do.

In an incidental role such as this album, I have a harder time telling apart the orchestrations of Ogerman vs. Sebesky (and I'll admit to liking the former more than the latter :wink: ). Ogerman's style is darker and a little more subdued. I'm not a huge Diana Krall fan, but Ogerman's orchestrations on her recording The Look Of Love were the deciding factor in getting that CD. And I haven't regretted it. Her voice is dark and smoky, and his orchestrations overtake you more like a slowly building wave, rather than hitting you full force. A perfect match, IMHO.

Decisions, decisions--do I play the rest of the live Peter Gabriel version of "Supper's Ready" (Genesis, CD #3 from the Archive box set), or queue up The Look Of Love?

-= N =-

"A flower."
 

William

New Member
Hi. Since I was wondered about, I guess I should mention that I've been working overtime, renting an alto flute, and chasing girls... as a result I've had neither the time or inclination to get online much at all. Alas, I missed Paul's birthday by a few days--had he not been a lifelong tobacco fiend, he would've turned 78 on the 25th.

Neil remembers correctly--this is my least favorite A&M album by Desmond. In fact, it's my least favorite Desmond album, period, coming in just below his 1961 "with strings" album Desmond Blue on RCA. Now, when I say it's my least favorite Desmond album, that's not really much of an insult--I worship the man's playing no matter what setting he's recordedd in, and even the "worst" album by Paul is still probably in my top 50. Hell, I have a 78rpm record of Paul playing clarinet with Jack Sheedy's dixieland band, and I love it dearly simply because Paul takes a half-chorus solo on it.

Anyway, Afternoon certainly does have its brilliant moments. I've always thought the intro of "Outubro," with that gorgeous flurry of alto flutes, was among the most striking LP openers in all of jazz. I love the ending of "Faithful Brother," when the vibes hit that beautiful minor ninth chord. And of course, there's Desmond's rather famous quote of Sonny Rollins' "St. Thomas" just before the fadeout of "Catavento." (Perhaps the best thing about that quote is hearing Paul try to mimic Sonny's heavy, swaggering sound--pretty much the antithesis of Paul's approach. Never fails to make me smile.)

Still, I prefer Summertime and Bridge Over Troubled Water just because I think the material fits the artist better (and yes, I like Simon & Garfunkel better than Lobo & Nascimento). Both of the Brazilians have what I think of as a "primivist" sound... very rootsy, direct, and Afro-Brasilian. A visual equivalent to Milton's songs might be bright paintings in primary colors, if that makes any sense. But I think Desmond was at his best when he was interpreting compositions that are more analogous to pastel drawings--standards, tunes by Jobim or Brubeck, or his own originals which are all more cool and guarded in nature. (And yes, I think Paul Simon's songs fit in with those much better--"Old Friends," for example, is a study in subtle shadings.) Most of the songs on this album just seem too primal for the sophistication inherent in Desmond's playing.

That paragraph probably made no sense, but there you go. IMO, better examples of Paul playing the bossa nova can be found on Take Ten, Bossa Antigua, Pure Desmond, Like Someone In Love, Quartet Live, his self-titled LP on Artists House, and a few Brubeck records such as Bossa Nova USA and Jazz Impressions of New York.

I do appreciate very much the alternate takes that Verve included, by the way, although I usually don't dig that sort of thing very much. In this case, listening to all three versions of the title tune back to back was very revelatory to me. I found it fascinating to listen as Paul shaped his solo over the course of several takes.


- William
 

Rudy

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William said:
Hi. Since I was wondered about, I guess I should mention that I've been working overtime, renting an alto flute, and chasing girls...

Noble pursuits, all of them. :D We'll have to get together and compare notes... :wink: (Not so much the flute or overtime...Rudy's just been out of circulation too long. :D )

William said:
Neil remembers correctly--this is my least favorite A&M album by Desmond. In fact, it's my least favorite Desmond album, period, coming in just below his 1961 "with strings" album Desmond Blue on RCA.

Desmond Blue doesn't rank among my top Desmond albums, but isn't near the bottom either. What I do like about Hot Afternoon, of course, are the compositions. And that "flurry" that opens the album draws me in every time--the song should have been named "December" instead. :wink:

And of course, there's Desmond's rather famous quote of Sonny Rollins' "St. Thomas" just before the fadeout of "Catavento." (Perhaps the best thing about that quote is hearing Paul try to mimic Sonny's heavy, swaggering sound--pretty much the antithesis of Paul's approach. Never fails to make me smile.)

Same here!

Still, I prefer Summertime and Bridge Over Troubled Water just because I think the material fits the artist better (and yes, I like Simon & Garfunkel better than Lobo & Nascimento).

They rank about the same for me, with a slight nod toward the Brazilian end of the scale. (I need to be in a certain mood to listen to either of them.) Bridge is the one I like the least of all three A&Ms, and again (like most A&M/CTis), it's probably due to the instrumental accompaniment. Of all three albums, though, my mother used to play this one the most.

-= N =-
 

William

New Member
Rudy said:
Noble pursuits, all of them. :D We'll have to get together and compare notes... :wink:

Well... as far as the alto flute goes, I never want to touch a C flute again as long as I live! The alto only plays one fourth lower than the C flute, but the difference in tone is unbelievable--the alto's sound is just ridiculously rich and full and beautiful. The C flute feels like a dinky little toy when I play it now. :cry: I'm guessing it's the same way for sax players who switch between horns of various sizes.

(As for the other "noble pursuits," I'll keep those other notes to myself, thankyouverymuch. :D)

Rudy said:
...that "flurry" that opens the album draws me in every time--the song should have been named "December" instead. :wink:

Speaking of which, most of my favorite moments on this album are the moments that evoke that same wintry mood. All of "Outubro," "Circles," "Faithful Brother," and the title track in particular. I do think the cold-weather feeling is provided almost entirely by Sebesky and the orchestra here--something about the low, fluttering flutes and those icy, soaring violins. It's strange that an album centering around an equatorial country should make me think of winter, but such are the mysterious workings of the mind, I suppose. Am I the only one who gets a chilly vibe from those songs?

(Of course, "Martha & Romao," "Catavento" and "Latin Chant" all sound very tropical to me, so there's a little bit of everything on the record...)

They rank about the same for me, with a slight nod toward the Brazilian end of the scale. (I need to be in a certain mood to listen to either of them.) Bridge is the one I like the least of all three A&Ms, and again (like most A&M/CTis), it's probably due to the instrumental accompaniment. Of all three albums, though, my mother used to play this one the most.

Maybe that's another reason you don't care for it as much--overexposure? Anyway, Herbie Hancock's performance on the Fender Rhodes throughout Bridge is enough to make that album worth serious repeated listens. Like Mac, I'll save further accolades for a future AOTW installment...

- William
 

William

New Member
Harry said:
Oddly, the disc didn't use the same ochre-label treatment that they gave the Sergio Mendes and Jobim albums, but rather used the silver-stylized label like on LPJim's avatar - making it somewhat unique in the A&M world.

The most likely reason for this is that the geniuses at Verve found a '70s or '80s LP reissue of the album (rather than an original pressing) from which to scan the covers and LP label. For the contemporaneous VBR reissue of Marcos Valle's Samba '68, the Verve people apparently found a DJ promo copy of the LP instead of a regular pressing. As a result, the disc is printed with a large black "T" over a yellow background, rather than a large silver "T" over a black background, as it should've been.

The liner notes on the Verve CD of Afternoon are pretty odd, too. I love Airto, but I never knew he had a "souffle of textured rhythms," as the liners state. (Souffle?! How do these copywriters get hired?) I also wonder where the Verve folks got the idea that this album was the "brainchild of Sergio Mendes"--I've read a lot of material about Desmond's CTi days (including interviews with Paul) and none of them mention Sergio.

(None of them mention Claus Ogermann, either--Desmond worked exclusively with Sebesky on all his CTi projects, and as far as I know, Jobim's Wave was the last Creed Taylor production that Claus ever arranged.)


- William
 

Rudy

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William said:
Well... as far as the alto flute goes, I never want to touch a C flute again as long as I live! The alto only plays one fourth lower than the C flute, but the difference in tone is unbelievable--the alto's sound is just ridiculously rich and full and beautiful. The C flute feels like a dinky little toy when I play it now. :cry: I'm guessing it's the same way for sax players who switch between horns of various sizes.

Somewhat...to me, each horn has a different sound that has its own merits. I dislike the soprano the most, mainly because it's been so abused by those non-talent $mooth jazzers who just noodle away on it endlessly. (And it goes without saying that a hack like Kenny G. has such terrible tone and intonation, it gives ALL soprano players a bad name!) A lot of listeners don't hear a difference, but I do; I prefer the curved sopranos, the ones that actually look like saxes and not brass clarinets. To date, I have only heard a sample of a sopranino saxophone (smaller than soprano, one octave above an alto), and only a couple of samples of the monstrous contra-bass (including a fun sample of "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" :D ).

It also has a lot to do with the person behind the horn. Again, Kenny G. comes to mind--his playing on tenor is as bad on soprano, whereas someone like Plas Johnson can give the tenor tone some meat, or Getz can get that "dry" sound similar to what Desmond gets on an alto. Another favorite of mine--John Klemmer, during his earlier Cadet/Concept years, before he over-Echoplexed and got spacey on us. (I'd asked another musician, who played on Klemmer's Finesse album, what Klemmer was like, and he replied that he was "nice, but a little strange." :) )

It's different with saxes, though--I think with flutes, the tones are much more similar between players. There are fewer variables in equipment (such as, you can replace the headpiece with one made of different metal)--it boils down to different playing techniques. With the sax, you're looking at a choice of reeds (hard or soft--Getz and Desmond used very hard reeds), mouthpiece (hard rubber or metal, plastic...and different chamber openings and tip openings, different ligatures to hold the reed on), and even different necks (solid silver, solid copper) will affect the sound. And to a lesser extent, the type and weight of metal of the horn, as well as any plating (lacquer, silver, gold, etc.) can change the tone marginally.

I do prefer the lower flutes myself. If you master the alto flute, why not try a contrabass flute?
http://www.contrabass.com/pages/flutes.html :wink:

(As for the other "noble pursuits," I'll keep those other notes to myself, thankyouverymuch. :D)

HEheheee...are the pickings as bad down your way as they are up here? :)

Speaking of which, most of my favorite moments on this album are the moments that evoke that same wintry mood. All of "Outubro," "Circles," "Faithful Brother," and the title track in particular.

For some reason, I've had that same feeling about this album. I'd first "rediscovered" it in late autumn one year, played it a lot that winter, and I've just associated it with winter ever since. There's something warm about the entire album, and reminds me more of sitting indoors while watching the cold weather outside. Like this morning, as I watch it snowing outside.

Re: Bridge...:

Maybe that's another reason you don't care for it as much--overexposure?

No, Mom wasn't like me and didn't play something into the ground for weeks on end. :wink: But when she listened to Desmond, it was usually this album, which may be why the other two didn't sound very familiar after I'd rediscovered them later on. Although, the cover from Summertime was the one I remember seeing (or at least remembering) the most.

The most likely reason for this is that the geniuses at Verve found a '70s or '80s LP reissue of the album (rather than an original pressing) from which to scan the covers and LP label.

That's my guess...although they did the letters "A&M" in a brownish color, rather than do an exact replica (which would have been cool, even if it was the wrong era label).

The liner notes on the Verve CD of Afternoon are pretty odd, too. I love Airto, but I never knew he had a "souffle of textured rhythms," as the liners state. (Souffle?! How do these copywriters get hired?) I also wonder where the Verve folks got the idea that this album was the "brainchild of Sergio Mendes"--I've read a lot of material about Desmond's CTi days (including interviews with Paul) and none of them mention Sergio.

Sounds like a clueless writer to me. Some get the impression that because Sergio was Brazilian, anything at the label that had to do with Brazilian was channeled through Sergio. His A&M contributions are obvious, due to production credits on a few albums...but one can't assume any other Brazilian album was his idea.

Soufflé of textured rhythms...tasty, no? :wink:

-= N =-
...whose weather resembles quiche...
 

William

New Member
Rudy said:
It's different with saxes, though--I think with flutes, the tones are much more similar between players. There are fewer variables in equipment (such as, you can replace the headpiece with one made of different metal)--it boils down to different playing techniques.

True. There aren't many flutists who you can recognize purely on the basis of tone.. My favorites--Jerome Richardson, Hubert Laws, Bud Shank, or Roland Kirk--have musical "trademarks," as it were... Richardon's soulful phrasing, Hubert's "classical" tone and octave jumping, Shank's pitch bending, Roland's multiphonics... but I can't think of any two flutists with tonal differences as wide as those between, say, Dave Sanborn and Paul Desmond on alto.

I do prefer the lower flutes myself. If you master the alto flute, why not try a contrabass flute?
http://www.contrabass.com/pages/flutes.html :wink:

I wouldn't be opposed to trying it! I was shocked by how easy it was to adjust to the alto flute, embouchure-wise. I can't help but wonder if I could adapt to an octo-contrabass flute as easily.


(Re: Hot Afternoon and winter)

For some reason, I've had that same feeling about this album. I'd first "rediscovered" it in late autumn one year, played it a lot that winter, and I've just associated it with winter ever since. There's something warm about the entire album, and reminds me more of sitting indoors while watching the cold weather outside. Like this morning, as I watch it snowing outside.

Good, I'm glad I'm not alone on that. There are a lot of albums that fit that scenario of being in a warm indoor setting while it's cold/rainy/snowy/(etc.) outside. A lot of my favorite music has that feeling to it, actually.

William said:
I also wonder where the Verve folks got the idea that this album was the "brainchild of Sergio Mendes"--I've read a lot of material about Desmond's CTi days (including interviews with Paul) and none of them mention Sergio.

Sounds like a clueless writer to me. Some get the impression that because Sergio was Brazilian, anything at the label that had to do with Brazilian was channeled through Sergio. ...one can't assume any other Brazilian album was his idea.

It just amazes me that these assumptions and careless mistakes pass into print so easily. Misinformation on personal websites and such is bad enough; seeing it on a CD digipak distributed by a major US corporation is just appalling.

- William
 

Rudy

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William said:
... but I can't think of any two flutists with tonal differences as wide as those between, say, Dave Sanborn and Paul Desmond on alto.

Or a good sax player on soprano (I heard Benny Carter on the M SQUAD soundtrack--his soprano just sounded like an alto played in a high register) vs. a lot of the $mooth Jazz hacks like Kenny G that just wail away and noodle on it. G's tone is terrible--it's just so flat and lifeless, reedy (no pun intended), thin. One could almost say the same for Sanborn, but he does have a lot of soul in his playing (for a "little guy"), and really has a bright tone.

I wouldn't be opposed to trying it! I was shocked by how easy it was to adjust to the alto flute, embouchure-wise. I can't help but wonder if I could adapt to an octo-contrabass flute as easily.

I have the feeling I'd get winded easily. :wink: But being a sax player myself, I've always wanted to try a flute. Alas, I'd probably have to get a used student model standard "C" flute to play around on. (Would trade my student-model Olds alto for a flute, in fact.) My sax teacher was actually a flute player who doubled on sax, and anytime he played flute, I was always admiring the tone he'd get--very "full", for lack of a better term.



(Re: Hot Afternoon and winter)

Rudy said:
For some reason, I've had that same feeling about this album. I'd first "rediscovered" it in late autumn one year, played it a lot that winter, and I've just associated it with winter ever since. There's something warm about the entire album, and reminds me more of sitting indoors while watching the cold weather outside. Like this morning, as I watch it snowing outside.

Good, I'm glad I'm not alone on that. There are a lot of albums that fit that scenario of being in a warm indoor setting while it's cold/rainy/snowy/(etc.) outside. A lot of my favorite music has that feeling to it, actually.

Don't recall if I mentioned it at all, but Diana Krall's LOOK OF LOVE with those Ogerman arrangements...VERY wintry to me. It's been getting daily play around here. Also something about Jobim's recordings that do the same thing for me.

It just amazes me that these assumptions and careless mistakes pass into print so easily. Misinformation on personal websites and such is bad enough; seeing it on a CD digipak distributed by a major US corporation is just appalling.

Maybe they got it from the internet... :wink: (Certainly wasn't from us!)
 
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