Relating to the original sound of Cool Jazz in the 1960s, the group pure desmond was founded in the year 2002 to dignify the music of the Paul Desmond Quartet
(with Jim Hall, Gene Cherico and Connie Kay) and to adjust it to the 21st century through original compositions and adaptations of contemporary songs.
Coming from different backgrounds, the four musicians show great notion for interaction and therefore create an imaginative dynamic which is inherent in every performance. By regular collaborations in different contexts from duo performances to big band shows, they developed a collective understanding of the most important musical issues like timing, aesthetics and sound. Those convincing results led to projects with guest musicians for vocals and keyboards, as well as a collaboration with the reknown strings of the "Szymanowski Quartet".
The different influences of the protagonists, coming from diverse styles as Punk, contemporary Classical Music, Hard Rock, Soul or R'n'B is what makes pure desmond a unique combination that changes the course of the music. The band has been touring all over Europe, Russia and Asia. In 2012, their album „When Lights Are Low“ (minor music) won the „German Critics Award“. In 2018, the group started their own record label Major Music, releasing „Audrey“, telling the unlived love story of Paul Desmond and Audrey Hepburn. The album was a big success in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In December 2020, they released the new album „pure desmond plays James Bond Songs“ (Major/Edel).
Lorenz Hargassner - alto saxophone
Born in 1978 in Vienna, Austria, lives in Hamburg, Germany. Publications on his own behalf in the series „Jazz thing Next Generation“ and on Unit Records. Sideman at Artbop, Jazzhaus Orchestra and in Adam Holzman's „Brave New World“. Scholarship from the New School University in New York. Also works as a journalist for Jazz thing, Keyboards, Jazzzeit, Jazzhaus Radio Hamburg. Lecturer at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media.
Johann Weiß - guitar
Studied electric guitar at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media and the University of Music in Hamburg. He has taught electric guitar, studio production and music history as a lecturer at the same universities as well as in Cologne and at Popacademy Baden-Württemberg. Johann Weiß has recieved several Echo nominations as a guitarist and songwriter. In October 2015, he became a professor of Popular Music at the Würzburg University of Music.
Christian Flohr - bass
Born in1976 in Hannover. Besides his work with pure desmond he has played internationally with acts like toktoktok, Mousse T., Roger Cicero Band, Tokunbo, a.o.
Sebastian Deufel - drums
Born in 1979 in Freiburg, lives in Berlin. Collaborates with Gisbert zu Knyphausen. Works as a theater musician for Frankfurter Schauspielhaus, Thalia Theater Hamburg, Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg. He studied composition and regularly works on commissioned compositions. Teaches improvisation seminars.