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In the Likeness of Paul Desmond.

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In 1959, a piece of music hit the radio airwaves, that has not repeated the phenomenon since. What made it noteworthy and remarkable, was World War 2 had concluded just a decade ago, the baby boomers were becoming teenagers, and America was going through a musical, clothing, and ethical values revolution.

Little Richard, James Brown, Ben E. King, Marvin Gay, and the Beatles. Not to mention the rivalry between Elvis Presley and Pat Boone. And then came an instrumental, from among the older ones, who lived behind the white picket fences, but loved the taste of America’s most original music, Jazz. The piece was called TAKE FIVE, and featured Paul Desmond on alto sax. It became the best selling Jazz single of all time.

DONNY McCASLIN is from the West Coast like Desmond, and plays a mean sax (See Video). He and his group were guests at Towson University, collaborating with the Baltimore chamber Jazz Society.

Donny was 7 years old when Take Five was recorded; he shies away from the comparison to Paul Desmond, but he also has an avid interest in ethnic music, including hip hop. The likeness is there in more ways than one. Take a look, and a listen.

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