Paul and Audrey
February 3, 2021 6:41 AM   Subscribe

A short comic on how Paul Desmond, the original saxophonist of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, wrote a piece for Audrey Hepburn. He never knew she’d heard it (Paul Rogers at The New Yorker). posted by adrianhon (16 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
That's absolutely beautiful, a story rendered perfectly. tears. Thank you for posting this.
posted by theora55 at 7:36 AM on February 3, 2021 [5 favorites]

Lovely. Spotify link to the song. The tune is lovely. His sax style is very similar to Stan Getz, breathy and full of life.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:01 AM on February 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Wow, that wrecked me. What a great story, and great comic.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:14 AM on February 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Lovely. I admire artists and the art form that they create. Learning their methods and all of the backstory...incredible. I try to imagine creating something so ethereal just by seeing someone.

Thanks for posting this!
posted by zerobyproxy at 8:16 AM on February 3, 2021

Fantastic... what theora55 said. Perfect. Damn dusty room.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:17 AM on February 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

That the piece doesn't just conjure a sense of longing but seems to be trying to capture something of Hepburn's persona, and through that the person, is what makes both the song and the story more poignant, as there is a sense of both trying to decipher the other through the occluded expression of performance.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:18 AM on February 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

What a great little story. Here's Brubeck writing about recording it, from the original "Brubeck Time" liner notes on the back cover of the album.
"I would like," said Gjon, closing his eyes and raising his hand expressively, "I would like to see Audrey Hepburn come walking through the woods ---"

"Gee," said Paul wistfully, "So would I."

"One," I said, noticing the glazed expression about Paul’s eyes "two, three, four."

And we played it. Hence, the title. Its significance, I trust, will not be lost to the male population.
The "Gjon" in the letter is famed TIME/LIFE Magazine photographer, Gjon Mili. He filmed the quartet performing "Audrey" in 1954, in a short film called Stompin' for Mili. You could do worse than starting your day with this.

Thanks for sharing the comic!
posted by waxpancake at 8:23 AM on February 3, 2021 [15 favorites]

That was lovely. I also suspect it's one of those moments that would never happen today. There are too many news outlets looking for pop-culture pieces to fill space, and too many ways for fans to communicate with their idols. So even if Desmond would never have reached out himself, one of his fans would have tweeted at Hepburn, or one of hers at him, and...
posted by Mchelly at 8:26 AM on February 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

That was touching.
posted by y2karl at 8:58 AM on February 3, 2021

Lovely little story and comic. Breaks my heart a little homeboy never knew he made such an impact on her. I'm also loving the veiled language in the liner notes for Brubeck Time. Basically "being horny on main" but in a classy and subtle way.
posted by GoblinHoney at 9:21 AM on February 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

This brightened my day quite a bit. Thanks so much for sharing, would have missed it otherwise.
posted by jzb at 10:03 AM on February 3, 2021

oh hey that 46th Street Theatre looks familiar
posted by sageleaf at 2:03 PM on February 3, 2021

one of his fans would have tweeted at Hepburn, or one of hers at him, and...

Don’t you kind of wish something like that had happened?
posted by Phanx at 2:12 PM on February 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Lovely story, beautifully rendered. But I do have to grouch about one thing: I skipped reading the headline and subhead and subsequently thought the strip was talking about two guys, Paul and Desmond, in alternating panels. Just introduce him by his full name in the first panel! Not everyone knows everyone in the Brubeck Quartet by name!
posted by ejs at 2:39 PM on February 3, 2021

ejs, I know it's small, but his name is on the marquee.
posted by umbú at 2:45 PM on February 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

So ‘tis! Reading it on a phone, the New Yorker site not allowing pinch to zoom, and aged eyes conspired to make it invisible. (I had to screenshot it and zoom in on the screenshot to read it just now.)
posted by ejs at 3:06 PM on February 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

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