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It is common knowledge that Bud Powell recorded several tunes while he lived in the house of Francis Paudras in Paris. Paudras sheltered these recordings, but he left the archives in the care of Celia Powell, Bud's daughter. The tracks were selected in conjunction with Jessica Shih of Piadrum Records.
Paudras had a piano in a room that formed an alcove. Powell would use the nook to play when he wanted to and not when he was asked to. This perhaps represents a difference, for he could give vent to his feelings and to the mood that enveloped him at the moment. This makes the music all the more personal, and the listener can hone in to the spirit of Powell, despite the sometimes less than perfect sound quality brought into focus by the circumstances of the apartment in which they were recorded. And despite all that, this is not an artefact, it is an historical document.
Powell may not have been at the peak of his resolution, but there were interesting turns in his approach as he visualised the music at that stage. He had the flow and a rapid succession of notes that gave vent to the melody on "Shaw 'Nuff," as he did on a pretty effective take of "Spring is Here," but then it was on another level that he contemplated "'Round Midnight" in a slow circling shuffle. But in the shuffle of time and circumstance, about a year later he showed that he still had that sense of grace as he played "But Beautiful" with a deliberation that makes it a delectable memory.
Track Listing: Spring is Here; Shaw 'Nuff; A Night in Tunisia; Joshua's Blues; 'Round Midnight; I Hear Music; Someone to Watch Over me; I'll Keep Loving you; Idaho; Blues for Bouff
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.