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Amazing Bud Powell 2
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Following the first brilliant flowerings of his talent from 1945-51, Bud Powell's recording sessions always hung in a delicate balance between his awe-inspiring creativity and his fragile psyche. This trio date from August... more »
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Following the first brilliant flowerings of his talent from 1945-51, Bud Powell's recording sessions always hung in a delicate balance between his awe-inspiring creativity and his fragile psyche. This trio date from August 14, 1953--following a year-and-a-half stay in an institution--has always stood out as one of the best of his later recordings, an essential document of modern jazz piano. Accompanied by bassist George Duvivier and drummer Art Taylor, his working trio, Powell is in a comfortable setting and exceptional form, transforming a series of standards and bop tunes into profoundly personal creations alive with dynamic contrasts. Both "Autumn in New York" and "Sure Thing" assume classical dimensions in Powell's reworkings, from the fantasia that introduces the first to the quirky, near-baroque dimension that the latter assumes. "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" takes on somber depths, while "I Want to Be Happy" is pure, kinetic invention. The bop blues of "Collard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas" emphasizes the empathy and relaxed flow of the trio, while Powell's "Glass Enclosure"--inspired by the apartment where the pianist was held virtual prisoner by his manager--is a tense complex of shifting moods. The new Rudy Van Gelder edition adds immeasurably to the experience of this music. The remastering restores the expressive life of Powell's piano sound, and there are five previously unreleased tracks, a version of "I've Got You Under My Skin" and four unreleased alternate takes, each revealing another aspect of Powell's genius. --Stuart Broomer
Bud Powell in transition
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With all due respect to critics like Stuart Broomer (who wrote the review for Amazon), this legendary Blue Note set is not "late" Powell (the use of the word assumes that his career ended around the time of this recording, which is false; Powell continued to pioneer his sound up until his death in 1965), nor are Powell's much-ballyhooed mental and health problems so important in evaluating this music. As Carl Smith wrote in his "Bouncing with Bud: All the recordings of Bud Powell", this is Powell "at a crossroads between the early and the late, with most of the strengths of both periods"---consciously transforming, experimenting and evolving. The quicksilver bop Bud Powell of the early Verve and Roost sessions is long gone. "Un Poco Loco" is an extremely advanced number that is modern by today's standards. "Glass Enclosure" is a near-classical composition. There is also a subtle and by-design paring-down/focus of style beginning here. You can hear how Bud begins to play fewer, and different (but still right)notes even in his most fleeting solos. I am less enamored of Powell's overly ornate and almost schmaltz treatment of "Autumn In New York" and "Over the Rainbow", regardless of the wonderful playing that can be compared to Art Tatum (this is a personal opinion). "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" is fine, but this brighter, more regular treatment is not as interesting as the version recorded by Prestige (Jazz at Massey Hall v2)."
I can't believe that this record was made 48 years ago
JEAN-MARIE JUIF | BESANCON France | 11/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Near half a century has passed since Bud Powell,George Duvivier and Art Taylor recorded this outstanding session of pure bop, and it's incredible.The music is always as fresh,surprising,and as passionnate as if it had just been played.This music will never be old.The great Rudy Van Gelder remastered the tracks for this new edition,and for the first time,the tunes appear in the order of the recording session.There are a lot of alternate tracks and unissued tracks.And great tunes : beautiful standards like "autumn in New York","I've got you under my skin",Oscar Pettiford's blues "collard greens and blackeyed peas",Little Benny Harris' "Reets and I", and Bud's own compositions,including the famous "glass enclosure",and the beautiful "Audrey".As a child,Bud was fascinated by Bach's music,and this is obvious in his playing.Too bad he never had the opportunity of recording Bach's repertoire,Glenn Gould would have been frightened ! What is there more to say about this album ? That it's one of the most important in the history of jazz ? Yes,of course.Bud was at his best at that time, and mastered all kinds of playing : fast boppish tunes, and very slow tempos on ballads.This is a record you'll play again and again."
Testing the Boundaries of Jazz
Fly By Light | Atlanta, Georgia | 04/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bud Powell was not one to shy away from testing the boundaries of jazz, and in some instances, disregarding them completely. Even Ornette Coleman's wildest creations still sound like jazz to me, while Powell's work takes occasional detours far and deep into uncharted waters. While I am inspired and occasionally awestruck by his unorthodox interpretations of Autumn in New York and Sure Thing, I find myself drawn to his more conventional renditions, like I Want to Be Happy and Collard Greens and Black Eyed Peas. I recommend Amazing Vol. 1 over this for sheer listening pleasure, but Vol. 2 gave me an even deeper appreciation for deep talent of the truly amazing Bud Powell."