Song of the Day: Paul Desmond – “Take Ten”

Paul Desmond was born on this day (November 25) in San Francisco, California, in 1924. The soft-spoken, silky-toned saxophonist was a leading voice in the West Coast jazz scene, heard most prominently in ensembles led by fellow cool-jazz artists Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker and Dave Brubeck. In 1959, while touring and recording with Brubeck, Desmond composed a song in 5/4 with a bluesy piano vamp and a bright, leaping bridge. Two years later, “Take Five” would become the biggest-selling jazz single ever. In 1963, Desmond would double down on his success of “Take Five” with the composition “Take 10,” which evoked a similar vibe even as it carved out its own distinct soundprint.

Join Our Email Newsletter

Join thousands of other jazz enthusiasts and get new music, artists, albums, events and more delivered to your inbox.

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz

FOLLOW US ON