Friday, January 22, 2010

Bud POWELL - Bud Plays Bird 1957-1958

Bud POWELL - Bud Plays Bird 1957-1958
Recorded in New York, between October 14, 1957 and January 30, 1958.


These late 1950s tracks originally recorded for Roulette, were rediscovered and rescued by Michael Cuscuna (kudos for his work). A solid, relatively good performance from that period of Powell's recording career. Powell shows flashes, but there is a casual repetitive undercurrent, a lack of dynamic tension, even when Powell hits top speed ("Big Foot", "KoKo", "Moose the Mooche"). Part of the blame is Art Taylor's somewhat boring drumming. He had already moved into a sparer, more Monk-like sound, his terrifying brilliance from his earlier days, dimmed. Compare his treatment of "Ornithology" here to his Blue Note 1949 recording ("Amazing Bud Powell" v.1). Bud Plays Bird ranks with Bud's later Blue Notes. While individual cuts are brilliant, the date as a whole is simply "pretty okay".
The master bebop pianist Bud Powell was in fine form when he recorded these classic works from his friend Charlie Parker's songbook. With bassist George Duvivier and drummer Art Taylor, the trio swung its way through such Parker gems as "Confirmation," "Relaxin' At Camarillo," "Billie's Bounce" and "Ornithology." As one of the leaders of the original bebop movement, Powell is in his element and pulls off some shining improvisations. The trio is a tight unit as Duvivier and Taylor catch every nuance of Powell's streaming right hand runs. In all, Parker and Powell's genius converge to produce a recording of the utmost significance.
Previously unissued until 1996, this trio session by pianist Bud Powell with bassist George Duvivier and drummer Art Taylor is better than his Verve recordings of the period if not quite up to the level of his earlier classic Blue Note dates. Actually it is a mystery how such excellent music could be unknown and go unreleased for so long. Powell performs 13 Charlie Parker compositions (including two versions of "Big Foot") and Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts." Although there are some minor missteps, the music is quite enjoyable and generally hard-swinging with the more memorable performances including "Straw 'Nuff," "Yardbird Suite," "Confirmation" and "Ko Ko."
Bud Powell- (Piano);
George Duvivier- (Bass);
Arthur Taylor- (Drums).
01. Big Foot (Long Version)  6:24
02. Shaw 'nuff  4:10
03. Buzzy  4:02
04. Yardbird Suite  4:04
05. Relaxin' at Camarillo  4:27
06. Confirmation   5:50
07. Billie's Bounce  4:02
08. Ko Ko  5:40
09. Barbados  4:09
10. Dewey Square  4:14
11. Moose The Mooche  3:37
12. Ornithology  5:06
13. Scrapple From the Apple  3:51
14. Saly Peanuts   2:41
15. Big Foot (Short Version)  3:30

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