Intelligent, sophisticated, and witty, he was a talented writer but chose instead to devote most of his attention to composing and playing music, and after a brief marriage, he spent the rest of his life being pursued by the ladies, who found him irresistible. He died in 1977 from – not surprisingly – lung cancer.
Although Desmond was best known for his work with the quartet, he had a number of albums he made apart from the group. Sometimes he'd team up with other instrumentalists – Gerry Mulligan for one – and other times he'd be backed up by ensembles of varying size. (Interestingly, most of the time his groups were piano-less, almost as if he was trying to prove that he could do just fine without Brubeck on piano.) Our samples are from one of those albums, Late Lament on the Bluebird label.