The Amazing Bud Powell Bud Powell

Album Info

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Label: Blue Note Records

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Bebop

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  • 1Un Poco Loco04:45
  • 2Over The Rainbow03:00
  • 3Ornithology02:23
  • 4Wail03:05
  • 5A Night In Tunisia04:15
  • 6It Could Happen To You02:27
  • 7You Go To My Head03:16
  • 8Bouncin' With Bud03:03
  • Total Runtime26:14

Info zu The Amazing Bud Powell

„This album gives one a strong sampling of pianist Bud Powell at his best. Powell is heard on a classic session with trumpeter Fats Navarro and tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins which is highlighted by exciting versions of 'Dance of the Infidels,' '52nd Street Theme,' and 'Bouncing With Bud' and in a trio for 'Over the Rainbow' and his intense 'Un Poco Loco.' (Scott Yanow)

One of the giants of the jazz piano, Bud Powell changed the way that virtually all post-swing pianists play their instruments. He did away with the left-hand striding that had been considered essential earlier and used his left hand to state chords on an irregular basis. His right often played speedy single-note lines, essentially transforming Charlie Parker's vocabulary to the piano (although he developed parallel to 'Bird').

Tragically, Bud Powell was a seriously ill genius. After being encouraged and tutored to an extent by his friend Thelonious Monk at jam sessions in the early '40s, Powell was with Cootie Williams' orchestra during 1943-1945. In a racial incident, he was beaten on the head by police; Powell never fully recovered and would suffer from bad headaches and mental breakdowns throughout the remainder of his life. Despite this, he recorded some true gems during 1947-1951 for Roost, Blue Note, and Verve, composing such major works as 'Dance of the Infidels,' 'Hallucinations' (also known as 'Budo'), 'Un Poco Loco,' 'Bouncing with Bud,' and 'Tempus Fugit.' Even early on, his erratic behavior resulted in lost opportunities (Charlie Parker supposedly told Miles Davis that he would not hire Powell because 'he's even crazier than me!'), but Powell's playing during this period was often miraculous.

A breakdown in 1951 and hospitalization that resulted in electroshock treatments weakened him, but Powell was still capable of playing at his best now and then, most notably at the 1953 Massey Hall Concert. Generally in the 1950s his Blue Notes find him in excellent form, while he is much more erratic on his Verve recordings. His warm welcome and lengthy stay in Paris (1959-1964) extended his life a bit, but even here Powell spent part of 1962-1963 in the hospital. He returned to New York in 1964, disappeared after a few concerts, and did not live through 1966.

In later years, Bud Powell's recordings and performances could be so intense as to be scary, but other times he sounded quite sad. However, his influence on jazz (particularly up until the rise of McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans in the 1960s) was very strong and he remains one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. (Scott Yanow)

Bud Powell, piano
Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone
Fats Navarro, trumpet
Tommy Potter, bass
Curley Russell, bass
Max Roach, drums
Roy Haynes, drums

Recorded at WOR Studios, New York City, N.Y., on August 1949, May 1951 and August 1953
Engineered by Doug Hawkins
Produced by Alfred Lion

Digitally remastered

Bud Powell
Earl "Bud" Powell was born in New York City on September 27, 1924, to a musical family. His grandfather had picked up Flamenco guitar in Cuba during the Spanish American War, and his father, William, was a stride pianist who taught Bud the rudiments of the instrument. He quit school at 15 and began working small clubs in Coney Island. After his regular gigs he would tour the Harlem bars. Thelonious Monk introduced him to the nascent musical revolution at Minton’s. Thus before he was 18, Bud had played with Charlie Christian and Charlie Parker and had come under Monk’s pervasive influence. A year later, when he joined Cootie Williams’ band, he was instrumental in getting Williams to record Monk’s "’Round Midnight."

Bud recorded with Cootie’s big band and sextet in 1944, his first recordings. A year later, at 21, he was arrested in Philadelphia for disorderly conduct and a month after was sent to a mental institution, the first of many.

From that point on, there seemed to be two Bud Powells, the fabulous pianist and the distinctive composer who could be heard on 52nd Street with Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Dizzy Gillespie, Don Byas, Sidney Catlett, and others, and the erratic, heavy-drinking, frequently querulous man who was a patient in a succession of mental institutions.

What we can say with certainty is that between 1947 and 1953, Bud Powell recorded some of the most startling piano music of our time. In later years, the thundering technique withered into incoherence, the fine, steely triphammer melodic lines were dulled — some of the recordings are painful to hear. But the spark of greatness never completely abandoned him and there are moments throughout his brief, tortured career when the intensity of his thought seems to impel his fingers in sustained creativity.

In 1959, Bud Powell moved to Paris where he received some of the recognition due him. His drinking was a constant problem, however, and although he did some substantial playing in this period, he was suffering from tuberculosis as well as alcoholism. Partially motivated by the expenses incurred during his illness, Bud returned to the United States in August 1964. Upon returning to New York, he was warmly received by the fans at Birdland for an extended engagement. The critical response reflected his inconsistency — some insisted he was in top form, others left in embarrassed disappointment. After the Birdland engagement, he lived in Brooklyn and worked sporadically; he appeared on a concert bill with Albert Ayler and Milford Graves.

But Powell died August 1, 1966 — the diagnosis was tuberculosis, alcoholism, and malnutrition. Gary Giddins, Excerpted from: Bud Powell Jazz Giant 829 937-2. Source Verve Records)

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