Paul Desmond Finds a Way
Paul Desmond was working on an album with Jim Hall at RCA. It was during the days that George Avakian was leaving the company to become an independent producer, so his office was whatever studio he happened to be in at the moment. Consequently, during the dates, George was constantly on the phone.
The musicians were scuffling with one tune, doing take after take until they finally got one they thought might work. Paul looked into the control for some indication from George that he approved of the take and saw George on the phone. He ran to the hall, found a pay phone, and called RCA.
“Can I have Studio B?”
“Certainly, sir ... that line is busy. Can you hold?”
“Yes, ma’am.” (A slight pause.)
“I can ring now.” (Rrring.)
“Hello, is this George Avakian?”
“Yes, who is this?”
“It’s Paul Desmond. How was that last take?”
Excerpted from Bill Crow’s Jazz Anecdotes, with the author’s permission.