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MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

The Amazing Bud Powell, Volumes 1 and 2 – Blue Note 1503 and 1504

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In the pantheon of bebop's Founding Fathers, there are three giants. Everyone knows Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Everyone forgets Bud Powell. Like Bird and Diz, Powell could spit out notes faster than anyone before or since. Also like Bird and Diz, Powell sometimes fell in love with his own speed, so some recordings became exercises in ridiculously frantic keyboard runs because... well, he could. Fortunately, these two early Powell discs emphasize the quirky, fun, inventive Bud Powell. While no pianist was ever quite as quirky and original as Thelonious Monk, Powell might place a close ...

BOOK REVIEWS

The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History, and the Challenge of Bebop

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The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History, and the Challenge of Bebop (Music of the African Diaspora) Kindle Edition Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. 257 Pages ASIN: # B00CDTSS78 University of California Press 2013 All of the sudden, we have competing biographies of modern jazz pianist Bud Powell. For the longest only Francis Paudras' deeply sentimental memoir, Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell (Da Capo, 1986) and Bertrand Tavernier's imaginative film adaptation of the same, Round Midnight (Warner Bros., 1986) were the only “biopics" of the biographically-neglected pianist until Alan ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Wail: The Life of Bud Powell by Peter Pullman

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Wail: The Life of Bud Powell Peter Pullman 483 Pages ISBN-13: # 978-0985141813 (print) ASIN: B0079NR9IC (ebook) Peter Pullman, LLC 2012 The best biographies are well researched and annotated without being pedantic, informative without browbeating the reader and objective without indifference, or worse, malice. There exists excellent examples to illustrate the difference between “good" and “bad" biographies, written on the same subject: Elvis Presley. Peter Guralnick produced a two-volume set on Presley, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley (Little Brown, 1995) and Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell

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Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell Francis Paudras 355 Pages ISBN: # 0-306-80816-1 Da Capo Press 1998 Pianist Earl Randolph “Bud" Powell (1924-1966) is one of jazz's brightest stars and most tragic figures. The new millennium has enjoyed a renewed interest in Powell, his life and art with Alan Groves and Alyn Shipton's Glass Enclosure: The Life of Bud Powell (Bloomsbury Academic, 2001), Peter Pullman's Wail: The Life of Bud Powell (Peter Pullman, LLC, 2001) and Gruthrie Ramsey's The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History, and the Challenge of ...

BOOK REVIEWS

The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History And The Challenge of Bebop

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The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History And The Challenge of Bebop Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr. 240 pages ISBN: 978-0-520-24391-0 University of California Press 2013 A new book on pianist Bud Powell is something of an event. The first full length book on one of jazz's most dazzling pianists, Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell, was written in French by Powell's former confidante and supporter Francis Paudras, and published in 1986, some 20 years after Powell's death. That book did much of the leg work for Alan Groves and ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Bud Powell: Live at the Blue Note Cafe, Paris 1961 & In Copenhagen

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Bud Powell Live at the Blue Note Cafe, Paris 1961 ESP-Disk 2008 Bud Powell In Copenhagen Storyville 2008

Pianist Bud Powell's music is often buried in his tragic personal history, so much so that his story is best known through the film Round Midnight, where his character is transmogrified into a saxophonist memorably played by Dexter Gordon. Mental illness--at least partially caused by a savage police beating in 1945--and drug and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bud Powell: Bud Powell in Copenhagen

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After establishing iconic status as the first great bop pianist in the 1940s, Bud Powell was plagued by both mental illness and a fondness for, to borrow his mentor Charlie Parker's famous phrase, “a little sherry before dinner." As a result his output was vastly uneven. Catch Powell right and he is brimfull of energy and ideas. Catch him wrong and, while the technique is there, his playing falls flat and lacks inspiration--it can even be a downright mess. Powell's move to Europe in 1959 gave him a new lease of life. This album, recorded in 1962, features Powell close ...



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