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Glad To Be Unhappy
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  • Even though Desmond was kidding when he described himself as the world's slowest alto player, this record bears out the kernel of truth within the jest. Here, Desmond set out to make a record of love songs and torch ballads, so the tempos are very slow to medium, the mood is of wistful relaxation, and the spaces between the notes grow longer. At first glance, Desmond may seem only peripherally involved with the music-making, keeping emotion at a cool, intellectual arms' length, yet his exceptionally pure tone and ruminative moods wear very well over the long haul. Again, Jim Hall is his commiserator and partner, and the guitarist gets practically as much space to unwind as the headliner; the solo on "Angel Eyes" is an encyclopedia of magnificent chording and single-string eloquence. Gene Wright returns on bass, spelled by Gene Cherico on "Poor Butterfly," and Connie Kay's brush-dominated drum work is pushed even further into the background. A lovely recording, though not the best album in the Desmond/Hall collaboration. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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