442

Bud Powell: Bebop

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
By P. Christopher Dowd

Bud Powell, forever known for his groundbreaking bop piano, represents a key link to the evolution of an art form, but he's also a glaring reminder that jazz is first and foremost black music. Powell is a testament to the horrors of racism and the musical expression that emerged from the black American experience. While his contemporary Dave Brubeck enjoys the sunset of his career, Powell was never afforded that opportunity. After being hit on the head in an alleged fight with racist cops in his early 20s, Powell suffered significant head trauma and was in and out of psychiatric institutions for the rest of his life. Despite this tragedy and the behavioral inconsistencies it unleashed, Powell left behind an impressive oeuvre.

Bebop serves as a live retrospective that spans several Powell combos from 1948-64. The fourteen-track disc, featuring informative liner notes from Ted Panken, documents Powell's live prowess as the young pianist in a Max Roach-led "ad hoc tentet, three tracks from two live Paris dates in 1959 and 1960, and four selections from a week-long stint in Normandy, France in 1964.

The first eight songs, recorded at the Royal Roost in New York, provide great examples of Powell in a large band context. Powell is heard laying back in the groove on "(Back Home Again In) Indiana as a young JJ Johnson steps up for an extended trombone solo while Roach fuels him on. "Jumpin' with Symphony Sid finds trumpeter Benny Harris and Johnson trading solos until Powell takes over at about the 4:30 mark. The pianist shows off his uptown schooling at Minton's and the requisite stride leanings on the Monk-penned "52nd Street Theme over a vintage Roach beat.

"Confirmation, a cut from a Powell-led trio at the Club Saint-Germain, Paris in 1959, shows a veteran Powell in pure bop form with drummer Kenny Clarke and bassist Pierre Michelot. The Dizzy Gillespie-Clarke tune "Salt Peanuts shows Powell stretching out and having fun at a hotel club on the Normandy coast of France in 1964, just two years before his death at 41. The gorgeous Benny Golson ballad "I Remember Clifford closes out the disc in fine fashion, leaving fans with a welcome addition to the Bud Powell discography.


Track Listing: 1 Introduction by Leonard Feather 0:48; 2 Perdido Tizol 5:11; 3 (Back Home Again In) Indiana MacDonald 2:55; 4 Jumpin With Symphony Sid Young 5:47; 5 I'll Be Seeing You Fain, Kahal 2:19; 6 52nd Street Theme Monk 4:40; 7 Ornithology Harris, Parker 12:51; 8 Blues in the Closet Pettiford 4:19; 9 Now's the Time Parker 1:33; 10 Confirmation Parker 2:27; 11 Hot House Dameron 18:44; 12 Salt Peanuts Clarke, Gillespie 3:25; 13 Lady Bird Dameron 5:24; 14 I Remember Clifford Golson 7:13

Personnel: Nelson Boyd Bass; Kenny Clarke Drums; Buddy DeFranco Clarinet; Jacques Gervais Bass; Johnny Griffin Tenor Sax; Benny Harris Trumpet; Guy Hayat Drums; Budd Johnson Tenor Sax; J. Alan Johnson Trombone; Lee Konitz Alto Sax; ierre Michelot Bass; Cecil Payne Baritone Sax; Max Roach Drums; Chuck Wayne Guitar

Title: Bebop | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Pelagos" CD/LP/Track Review Pelagos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 3, 2017
Read "Genesis" CD/LP/Track Review Genesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "The Seasons" CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 12, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.