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Bouncing with Bud

AAJ Staff By

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Bouncing with Bud by Carl Smith
Biddle Publishing Company, 1997

Every once in a while, a fan does his compatriots a huge favor. That's the case of Carl Smith with "Bouncing with Bud." With great thoroughness and a loving touch, Smith has put together a book that is hugely valuable both to long-time Powell fans and newcomers to the bebop pioneer's work. The book is very well done — clearly-written and expertly organized.

From hard-to-find European pressings to the recent career compilations on Blue Note and Verve, Smith guides us informatively through Powell's entire output. The book is illustrated with performance photos and reproductions from album covers. It also includes a biographical portrait of Powell by Mark Gardner, which first appeared in the Mosaic Records collection of the pianist's complete Blue Note recordings.

Smith also provides a brief chapter in which he makes the case that Powell's much-criticized later recordings have been unfairly dismissed. And the book concludes with an appendix of quotes and anecdotes about Powell from various jazz figures.


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