Paul Desmond (born Paul Emil Breitenfeld; November 25, 1924 – May 30, 1977) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and composer and proponent of cool jazz. He was a member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet and composed that group's biggest hit, "Take Five".
In addition to his work with Brubeck, he led several groups and collaborated with Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Jim Hall, and Ed Bickert. After years of chain smoking and poor health, Desmond succumbed to lung cancer in 1977 after a tour with Brubeck.
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