PURE DESMOND : ‘Pure Desmond Plays James Bond Songs’ – new album by German jazz quartet


new album
UK release date
24.02.23 (CD)
out now (digital)
(Major Music)

summer single
out 25.07.22
digital services

“Pure Desmond create music that concentrates on the essentials, which, despite its cool mood, is of the highest intensity and dynamic and radiates far more than pure aesthetics. The timeless elegance of Paul Desmond’s cool jazz experiences a new musical dimension with this brilliant quartet”

The German jazz quartet Pure Desmond formed in 2002 with the aim of bringing the original sound of ‘60s cool jazz (as exemplified by the legendary Paul Desmond) into the modern era through their own original compositions as well as adaptations of well known songs. With a belief that ‘less is more’ leading them to focus on the melodies of whatever classic they might choose to tackle, the interaction between the four musicians is natural and never feels forced, helping to create an imaginative dynamic which is inherent in every single one of their performances.

The group have just interpreted the classic ‘La Mer’ by Charles Trenet for their fans as a soundtrack for the warm – or indeed, baking hot – summer holiday evenings by the sea that many of us have recently been enjoying. It can be heard HERE

Meanwhile, their new album, ‘Pure Desmond Plays James Bond Songs’, sees them take on one of the world’s most iconic oeuvres with a style and panache befitting of 007 himself. The zest for life of the sophisticated secret agent films with their scenes in glamorous casinos fits perfectly with the elegant classical jazz treatments offered by the quartet, with the range of compositions spanning the classic themes and songs of the 1960’s right through to 2020’s ‘No Time To Die’.

The likes of ‘From Russia With Love’ becomes an airy samba with a pinch of subtle humour as the sax player of the Dave Brubeck Quartet might have interpreted it, while ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ turns into a jazz ballad. The original 1962 James Bond theme is an instrumental big band arrangement with a clear jazz framework, of course, but that is not to denigrate songs such as ‘Die Another Day’ by Madonna or ‘You Know My Name’ by Chris Cornell, both of which are also classics of their time and genre and are treated as such by Pure Desmond.

Indeed, the quartet manage the balancing act between these many different musical worlds and combine them into something thoroughly new via their modern, cool, instrumental jazz arrangements. With these interpretations, Pure Desmond take the listener on a journey through the world of James Bond.

Lorenz Hargassner – alto saxophone
Johann Weiss – guitar
Christian Flohr – double-bass
Sebastian Deufel – drums