Annotated Bibliography of Writings


Benkimoun, Paul. Cinq temps pour Paul Desmond. Paris: Les Autodidactes, 1995, 62 pages.

      • Limited edition (300 copies), illustrated by Jacques Loustal, with a translation of the Punch article by Paul Desmond “Orange County, New Jersey”
      • Translated and issued as Five for Paul Desmond with the CD “The Ballad of Paul Desmond”, BMG-74321429372, 1996

      Balliett, Whitney. “An Insouciant Sound” from

The New Yorker

      , September 16, 1991, pp 86-90

      • A lovely biographical profile of Desmond’s career and personality.

      Batten, Jack. “The Torontoland Bands”



Weekend Magazine,

        March 6, 1976, pp 11-13

        • Contains anecdotes of a Paul Desmond gig at Bourbon Street, Toronto, Canada.

Batten, Jack. “Playing it Safe”



Canadian Magazine,

      December 31, 1977, pp 8-9

      • A profile of Ed Bickert with references to a Paul Desmond session at Bourbon Street, Toronto, Canada.

      Crow, Bill.

Jazz Anecdotes

      . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

      • Only a few Desmond anecdotes. pp 82-83, 118, 189

      Enstice, Wayne & Rubin, Paul.

Jazz Spoken Here: Conversations with 22 Musicians

      . New York: De Capo Press, 1994

      • Contains an interview with Dave Brubeck

      Gerber, Alain.

Paul Desmond et le coté féminin du monde

      . Paris: Editions Fayard, 2006, 310 pages

      • According to a French Desmond fan, this book is half biography, half novel, with some chapters written with Desmond as the narrator.

      Gioia, Ted.

The Imperfect Art: Reflections on Jazz and Modern Culture

        . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990 (pb).

        • Pages 86-91 contain a profile of Desmond.

Gioia, Ted.

West Coast Jazz: Modern Jazz in California, 1945-1960

      . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

      • An indispensible source for info about Desmond & the Dave Brubeck Quartet
      • Until Doug Ramsey’s book Take Five came out, West Coast Jazz contained the only reference I’d seen to Desmond’s early and only marriage to an unnamed woman. Ramsey clears up the mystery.

      Goldberg, Joe. “Paul Desmond: The Illustrious Sideman”, from

Saturday Review

        , October 13, 1962. pp 40-45.

        • A profile of Desmond.

Goldberg, Joe.

Jazz Masters of the Fifties

      . New York: Macmillan, 1965.

      • Contains a profile of Desmond that is essentially a reprint of the above.

      Hall, Fred M.

It’s About Time: The Dave Brubeck Story

      . Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1996.

      • An authorized biography of Dave Brubeck with frequent refernces to Paul Desmond.
      • Includes an introduction by Gene Lees and a discography.

      Hentoff, Nat. “The Solitary Floating Jazzman” from

The Village Voice

        , Vol. XXII, No. 34, August 22, 1977, pp 35-36.

        • A tribute shortly after Desmond’s death by one of North America’s main jazz critics.
        • Includes a smiling photo of Desmond with a cigarette in his mouth. (He died of lung cancer.)

Hentoff, Nat.

Listen to the Stories

      . New York: HarperCollins, 1995.


      • Contains a reprint of “The Solitary Floating Jazzman” as above.

      Horricks, Raymond.

Gerry Mulligan

      . London: Apollo Press, 1986.

      • References to the two Desmond/Mulligan albums Blues in Time and Two of a Mind

      Klinkowitz, Jerome.

Listen: Gerry Mulligan, an Aural Narrative in Jazz

      . New York: Schirmer Books (Macmillan), 1991.

      • Contains lots of references to Desmond

      Lees, Gene.

Meet Me at Jim & Andy’s

        . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.

        • Contains a chapter entitled “The Bachelor: Paul Desmond”
          • A very warm personal reminiscence.

Lees, Gene.

Jazz, Black and White

      . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.

      • Contains a chapter entitled “The Man on the Buffalo Nickel: Dave Brubeck” with lots of Desmond stories especially pages 49-57.

      McPartland, Marian.

All in Good Time

      . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.

      • Contains a chapter entitled “Perils of Paul: A Portrait of Desperate Desmond” that was originally published in a slightly different form in down beat, September 15, 1960.
      • Also includes a photo of Desmond with Dave Brubeck, p54

      Ramsey, Doug.

Jazz Matters

        . Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1989.

        • Contains a chapter entitled “The Dave Brubeck Quartet” which includes several pieces Ramsey had written over the years:
          • “Take Five with Paul Desmond Or an Intermission Spent at Wit’s End, 1962”
          • “Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Reunion, 1976”
          • “Remembering Desmond, 1977” which was originally published in Radio Free Jazz, September, 1977

Ramsey, Doug.

Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond



      Seattle WA: Parkside Publications, 2005.

      • The definitive biography of Desmond including nearly 200 photos, letters, drawings, solo transcriptions with analysis, and a discography.
      • Includes interview material from Desmond’s unknown wife.
      • Winner of the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) 2006 Jazz Award for Best Book About Jazz
      • Winner of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections 2006 Award for Best (History) Research in Recorded Jazz Music
      • Honoured by the 2006 ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards

      Rice, Robert. “The Cleanup Man” from

The New Yorker

      , June 3, 1961, pp 41-89.

      • This is a profile of Brubeck, and contains an excellent early history of the Quartet & Desmond’s role in it.

      Shapiro, Nat & Hentoff, Nat.

Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya: The Story of Jazz as Told by the Men Who Made It.

      New York: Dover Publications, 1966.

      • Originally published in 1955 by Rhinehart and Company.
      • Contains a couple of short quotes from Desmond. pp 392-394.

      Smith, Arnold Jay. “A Quarter Century Young: The Dave Brubeck Quartet” from

down beat

      , March 25, 1976, pp 18-20, 45-46.

      • Interviews with Desmond, Brubeck, Eugene Wright & Joe Morello

      Ullman, Michael. In


      , July/August, 1997

      • On their “Jazz Page” Ullman defends Desmond’s often lack of serious attention by the critics of his day.

      Williams, Martin.

Jazz Masters in Transition, 1957-69

      . London: MacMillan, 1970

      • Contains a chapter entitled “Mulligan and Desmond at Work” which was originally published in Evergreen Review 28, Jan-Feb, 1963.
        • Describes the recording session for the 1962 Desmond/Mulligan album Two of a Mind
      • Also includes a short piece entitled “Brubeck in Eurasia” which was originally published in down beat, Feb 5, 1959


      Williams, Martin.

Jazz Heritage

      . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.


    • Contains the same chapter on Desmond and Mulligan as above.