Archive for the Bud POWELL Category

Bud POWELL – The Genius of Bud Powell 1992

Posted in Bud POWELL, JAZZ on December 20, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Bud POWELL – The Genius of Bud Powell 1992


In 1951, Bud Powell was still at the height of his considerable powers. Included here are two sessions from that year–a trio with Ray Brown and Buddy Rich (three takes of “Tea for Two” and a super-fast “Hallelujah”) and eight solo piano tunes from a different date. On “Tea for Two,” Buddy Rich’s drumming brings out the charming showoff in Bud, and on “Hallelujah,” Powell plays with a hysterical clarity.

“Oblivion” and “Hallucinations” are the most masterful of the eight solo cuts. Here Bud swings effortlessly and seems to be speaking his own, true language. The elegance of another era pervades the Gershwin-esque “Parisian Thoroughfare” and “Dusk in Sandi.” And one can imagine a young Bill Evans listening to “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” and taking note of the rich, logical voicings coupled with a wonderful, singing tone.
Bud Powell was, in the words of Herbie Hancock, the cornerstone of modern jazz piano. The two sessions on this CD (a trio from 1950 and eight solos from 1951) are, along with the performances on “Jazz Giant”, are the very best Powell on Verve, and arguably the best Bud Powell ever recorded. They are masterworks that all jazz listeners must hear. He is at the peak of his creative powers, and he is otherworldly: his speed,articulation, invention are startling. Every piece is a classic. Three takes of “Tea for Two”, in which Powell was reportedly racing drummer Buddy Rich (out of spite), is speed incarnate. “Parisian Thoroughfare”: the definitive performance of this beautiful composition. “Oblivion”: stately, unforgettable, haunting. “Dusk in Sandy”: spare, haunting, gorgeous.
Anyone interested in “The Genius of Bud Powell” would be far better off with the less expensive Bud Powell “Complete 1947-1951 Blue Note, Verve & Roost Sessions” compilation instead. And here’s why:
1. The Blue Note/Verve/Roost compilation contains exactly the same material as “The Genius of Bud Powell” with same personnel from the same recording sessions (solo sessions in 1951, and trio sessions with Ray Brown & Buddy Rich in 1950).
2. “The Genius of Bud Powell” contains only 12 tracks. The Blue Note/Verve/Roost compilation contains 45 tracks.
3. The sound quality on the BN/V/R compilation is surprisingly bright, clean and present (a 24 bit remastering), especially considering the fact that these recordings were made some sixty year ago.
4. The BN/V/R compilation cost me two dollars less than the amazon price for “The Genius of BP.”
On top of all this, the BN/V/R compilation, a 2-CD Spanish import (from the Jazz Factory), apparently includes all of Bud Powell’s trio studio sessions for Blue Note, Verve and Roost from 1947 to 1951, as well as all of his stunning solo work: “Parisian Thoroughfare,” “Oblivion,” “Dusk in Sandi,” “Hallucinations,” “The Fruit,” “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” Just One of Those Things,” and “The Last Time I saw Paris.”
These eight solo pieces alone (which are also included on “The Genius of BP”) would make the BN/V/R complilation worthwhile, but the additional, and amazing, 37 trio tracks make it an obvious choice (13 of these trio pieces–with the same personnel from the same sessions–make up the entire “Jazz Giant” CD).
Of the three dozen trio pieces included on the Blue Note/Verve/Roost compilation, there are many I simply wouldn’t want to do without, especially the Powell originals “Celia,” “Strictly Confidential,” “Tempus Fugue-It,” “So Sorry Please,” “I’ll Keep Loving You,” “Bud’s Bubble,” “Un Poco Loco” (three takes), and my personal favorite “Parisian Thoroughfare” (in both solo and trio sessions), not to mention “Cherokee,” “A Night in Tunisia” (two takes), Monk’s “Off Minor,” as well as two takes of “Ornithology.”
One very minor complaint (or maybe it’s really more of a lament): the trio session of “Parisian Thoroughfare” ends abruptly when someone (perhaps Powell himself) simply says: “Hey, cut it, man.” But at least there’s 3:27 of this brilliant rendition of one of the great BP originals.
One last thing (especially for those unable to locate the 2-CD set described above): As of this writing (Oct 2008), the “Complete 1947-1951 Blue Note, Verve & Roost Sessions” is incorrectly listed at amazon as the “Complete Blue Note and Verve [IMPORT].”
By  Ben Nevis.
Bud Powell- (Piano);
Ray Brown- (Bass);
Buddy Rich- (Drums).
01. Tea For Two 3:32
02. Tea For Two 4:17
03. Tea For Two 3:51
04. Hallelujah 3:02
05. Parisian Thoroughfare 2:32
06. Oblivion 2:12
07. Dusk In Sandi 2:16
08. Hallucinations 2:29
09. The Fruit 3:20
10. A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square 3:44
11. Just One Of Those Things 3:54
12. The Last Time I Saw Paris 3:16

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Bud POWELL – The Definitive Bud Powell 1953

Posted in Bud POWELL, JAZZ on December 6, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Bud POWELL – The Definitive Bud Powell 1953
2002 Issue.


Recorded between January 1947 & August 1953.
One of the undisputed titans of bebop, New York City-based pianist Bud Powell is well represented by this concise, expertly selected Blue Note collection that surveys his late-1940s/early-’50s heyday, before mental illness and alcoholism led to his death in ’66. Eclipsed as an innovator only by Thelonious Monk, Powell was a remarkably dynamic player who always astounded, whether cruising along on fast, frenetic lines (see the blazing “Tempus Fugit”) or easing into meditative melodies (the wistful “Dusk in Sandi”). Although the compilation may leave some listeners wanting more, THE DEFINITIVE BUD POWELL does feature most of his key compositions, making it a fine introduction to the troubled yet brilliant musician.
Bud Powell changed the way that the piano is played in jazz, virtually inventing bebop-style piano. This sampler draws its music from his Blue Note sessions of 1947-1953, some of his finest recordings. Actually, with the exception of 1947’s “Bud’s Bubble” and “Glass Enclosure” from 1953, the music is all from 1949 or 1951. Three selections (including “Tempus Fugit” and “Celia”) are played with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Max Roach, there are three unaccompanied piano solos from 1951 (including “Parisian Thoroughfare” and “Hallucinations”), and trio versions of “Un Poco Loco” and “Autumn in New York.” Most exciting are meetings with trumpeter Fats Navarro and tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins on “Dance of the Infidels” and “Bouncing With Bud.” Overall this is a fine (if brief) one-CD sampling of Bud Powell at his prime, although most jazz collectors will prefer to acquire the pianist’s complete sessions.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
Bud Powell- (Piano);
Sonny Rollins- (Tenor Sax);
Fats Navarro- (Trumpet);
Curly Russell, Ray Brown, Tommy Potter, George Duvivier- (Bass);
Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Arthur Taylor- (Drums).
01. Bud’s Bubble (2:35)
02. Tempus Fugit (2:28)
03. Celia (2:59)
04. Cherokee (3:38)
05. I’ll Keep Loving You (2:41)
06. Bouncing with Bud (3:02)
07. Dance of the Infidels (2:52)
08. Parisian Thoroughfare (2:30)
09. Dusk in Sandi (2:14)
10. Hallucinations (2:27)
11. Un Poco Loco (4:46)
12. Glass Enclosure (2:24)
13. Autumn in New York (2:50)

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Bud POWELL – Bud in Paris 1959-1960

Posted in Bud POWELL, JAZZ on December 2, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Bud POWELL – Bud in Paris  1959-1960
Xanadu 102
1975 Issue.


Strong work that has Powell recording with some horn players, something that he almost never did at this point in his career. Two tracks feature Powell and Johnny Griffin playing without any rhythm accompaniment – on the tunes “Idaho” and “Perdido”, taken at a nice informal pace. Four more tracks reature Powell in the company of a quartet with the great Barney Wilen on tenor – and those tunes include “Shaw Nuff”, “John’s Abbey”, and “Oleo”. The remainder of the record features trio tracks, recorded with Pierre Michelot and Kenny Clarke.
From Dusty Groove.
It is rare to find Bud Powell recordings in other than a trio or solo format so I treasure those few examples that are in my collection. This album opens with two extended duo performances with Johhny Griffin, followed by four with Barney Wilen in a quartet format. The final seven tracks are with his working power trio of the time with Kenny Clarke and Pierre Michelot. Essential stuff for a Powell collector.
Bud Powell- (Piano)
Johnny Griffin- (Tenor Sax)
Barney Wilen- (Tenor Sax)
Pierre Michelot- (Bass)
Kenny Clarke- (Drums)
A1. Idaho
A2. Perdido
A3. Shaw Nuff
A4. Oleo
A5. Autumn In New York
A6. John’s Abbey
B1. John’s Abbey
B2. Buttercup
B3. Sweet And Lovely
B4. Crossing The Channel
B5. Confirmation
B6. Get Happy
B7. Johny’s Abbey

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Bud POWELL & Don BYAS – Tribute to Cannonball 1961

Posted in Bud POWELL, Don BYAS, JAZZ on November 25, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Bud POWELL & Don BYAS – Tribute to Cannonball 1961
1997 Issue.


The title of this album is ***misleading for***, although Cannonball Adderley produced the session, no “tribute” takes place. Adderley could always recognize talent and he was wise to get the veteran tenor Don Byas (who had not recorded since 1955) back on record. Teamed in Paris with trumpeter Idrees Sulieman, pianist Bud Powell, bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Kenny Clarke, Byas proved to be in prime form on a variety of jazz standards including “Just One of Those Things,” “Cherokee” and “Jeannine.” This set has also been reissued on CD under Bud Powell’s name.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
When he left for Europe in the fall of 1946 with the Don Red man band, Don Byas’ reputation was at its peak. Admired by the modernists at Minton’s no less than by the swing-styled players of his own generation on 52nd Street, he was celebrated as a tireless, original and influential saxophonist. His solo on Basie’s “Harvard Blues” had created a stir in 1941 and he followed it with a remarkable series of recordings for small labels. In his romantic approach to “Laura,” he had something of a hit. He stayed in Europe, becoming the first in a continuously expanding family of expatriate jazzmen, and although the great Don Byas was much in demand by the jazz-appreciative Europeans, he was largely forgoffen back home. Few of his records were available here and without personal appearances it is difficult, if not impossible, to sustain a following. He returned to the U.S. once, in the summer of 1970, received little of the money or adulation he might have expected, and returned to Holland where he died in August 1972 of lung cancer. He was 59.

Don Byas was a seminal figure in the development of the tenor saxophone and a transitional one twixt the schools of swing and bop. Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in 1912, he played alto as a teenager, subbing in territorial bands like Bennie Moten’s and Walter Page’s Blue Devils. As a student at Langston College, he led his own band, Don Byas and the Collegiate Ramblers. Between 1933, when he switched to tenor, and 1941, he worked with a variety of bands, first in California and then New York -among them: Buck Clayton, Lionel Hampton, Eddie Barefield, Eddie Mallory, Lucky Millinde, Andy Kirk and Redman. In January ’41, he became Lester Young’s successor in the Count Basie band and quickly established his abilities, cementing his reputation.

Byas’ style evolved in the lush, rococo, full-bodied tenor tradition of Coleman Hawkins, but his sound was unmistakably his own, immediately recognizable. A master of technique, he accomplished both the tenderest warmth and the most strident sting. His sense of drama coupled with a brilliant use of dynamics and timbre, a deeply-felt romanticism-which on occasion dripped into sentimentality, his worst piffall-and an unsurpassable sense of swing made his improvisations unique.

When these sides were made in Paris in late 1961- and they are a treasure now exposed to light for the first time-Byas found himself the unofficial patriarch of an expatriate jazz community boasting some of the major figures in the new music. Kenny “Klook” Clarke, virtually the father of modern drumming and a co-founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet, arrived in 1956. Three years later, pianist Bud Powell, the unpredictable genius who could count even Art Tatum among his admirers, arrived and with Clarke and the much-admired French bassist Pierre Michelot formed The Three Bosses. Idrees Sulieman, one of the most astute disciples of Dizzy Gillespie, made the leap shortly after, settled in Stockholm, became an expert saxophonist, and eventually a member of the extraordinary big band Kenny Clarke co-leads with Francy Boland.

This session is significant-well, “significant” is so coldly academic, perhaps I should say “wonderful” instead-for a number of reasons. Chiefly, it captures great players playing great music. Perhaps the most striking aspect of the music we call jazz-at least to a Western mind-is the way in which undiluted individuality is magically meshed with supplication [surely this last word is an editor or typesetter’s mangling ofthe writer’s intended “subordination”-O.K.] to the group. Byas and Powell, although they played together on numberless occasions going back to the mid-’40s, represent two approaches to the music reflecting two eras: Before (Charlie) Parker and After Parker. Byas was a masterful swing player with his own style, and advanced sense of harmony and a confidence and adventurousness that found him hanging around the beboppers and asking to play. He held his own and did so while insistently remaining himself: he never picked up the rhythmic phrases, the lightning triplets, that are indigenous to bop. Yet Parker said of him that Byas was playing everything there was to play.

Powell and Clarke are the quintessential beboppers. Listen-and consider all the revolutionary chaos bebop was supposed to have inflicted on jazz-to how lovingly they communicate with Byas. Listen to how the saxophone and piano solos complement and enhance each other though the syntax is different. And listen to the way Clarke of Pittsburgh and Michelot, once of the Paris Opera, cook together.

The three standards represented are given exceptional performances. “Cherokee” features particularly vigorous work from Byas, including a stunning coda. Bud is in rare form, ripping through the changes, creating his own cosmos. “All The Things You Are” is introduced by Michelot playing the familiar bop rift, but the theme isn’t stated until the out chords. Sulieman has a solid spot and Byas follows with an explosive chorus that is a tale unto itself. The rhythm section is boiling on “Just One Of Those Things.” Byas authoritatively takes charge, his passion nicely contrastpd by Powell’s exquisite and deliberate exploration.

“Good Bait” is one of the best known compositions by Tadd Dameron, whose largely unheralded work in a too- brief and tortured career has since provided nice incomes for dozens of TV composers and Hollywood hacks. This is a special performance: Byas, obviously in a good mood, toys with strict bop phraseology, showing that he could do pretty much whatever he chose.

Sulieman is in excellent form. Benny Golson’s haunting “I Remember Clifford” was a favorite with both Byas and Powell. It is a beautiful but mournful tune that each was to record again at later times. For Bud, there must have been a special meaning: his younger brother, Richie, was killed in the same accident that took Clifford Brown’s life. Byas is featured movingly and Powell has a brief but impeccably lush passage.

“Jeannine” is a 16-bar line with an eight bar release. [It had been recorded the previous year by Cannonball’s own quinteL -O.K.] Clarke opens and closes it with everyone getting one relaxed chorus. “Myth” is a 16-bar blues. On the ballad “Jackie My Little Cat,” Byas is featured for two choruses except for an eight bar piano interlude. He sticks close to the melody, demonstrating how much a great player can say with sonority and graceful embellishment.

Bud Powell preceded Byas in returning to his homeland. He came back in 1964 and spenttwo years in a state of despondency and frustration, playing hardly at all. He died in July 1966, the most brilliant pianist of his time, at the age of 41. Byas’ playing was also to suffer in his last few years; he seemed tired, he was losing a battle with alcohol. The music they fashioned continues, however, outside of time and the inequities of life. It sings with vitality of love and sorrow, transforms the moment with grand sunsets and pathetic drizzles, defies indifference with the preachment of hope.
By D. Orlando.
Don BYAS- Tenor sax
Bud POWELL- Piano
Pierre MICHELOT- Bass
Kenny CLARK- Drums
Idrees SULIEMAN- Trumpet
Julian “Cannonball” ADDERLEY- Alto sax
01. Just One Of Those Things Bud Powell;Don Byas 5:10
02. Jackie My Little Cat Bud Powell;Don Byas 4:50
03. Cherokee Bud Powell;Don Byas 6:20
04. I Remember Clifford Bud Powell;Don Byas 6:17
05. Good Bait Bud Powell;Don Byas 6:32
06. Jeannine Bud Powell;Don Byas 5:59
07. All The Things You Are Bud Powell;Don Byas 7:26
08. Myth Bud Powell;Don Byas 5:33
09. Jackie My Little Cat (Alternate) Bud Powell;Don Byas 5:16
10. Cherokee (Unissued Alternate) Bud Powell;Don Byas 7:55

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