1924-1977 - Jazz musician, best known for his long association with Dave Brubeck.
Paul Desmond was the most purely musical alto sax player who ever lived. He was a kind of geeky looking guy, quiet and self-effacing. He said of himself "I have won several prizes as the world's slowest alto player, as well as a special award in 1961 for quietness." He never became truly famous in his own right. He was just a member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. However, he wrote "Brubeck's" most famous song - the first million-selling jazz single - Take Five.
In a way, Brubeck and Desmond were a musical odd couple. Brubeck's piano was always about the rhythm, and he tended to be a bit strident at times. Desmond's sax was always about the melody, but he took his instrument far beyond melody, into the zone where every fiber of his reed, every muscle of his body, became part of the sculpture of his sound. If this sounds like hyperbole, listen to "Bluette" from Time Further Out.
This writeup has been devastatingly superseded by the one below. If Whiskydaemon will agree to embed "I have won several prizes as the world's slowest alto player, as well as a special award in 1961 for quietness." I will ask to have this removed.
Alas, the abovementioned writeup was written by a fled noder, who saw fit to have it removed. I don't really know anything about that, but maybe it was another sad and senseless pit of fique.
You should really write something better here, so I can have this little old writeup, (and all this associated meta crap) deleted.