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Complete Blue Note & Roost
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Consider 1994 a banner year for Bud Powell reissues, with two comprehensive sets covering most of his American studio recordings. This four-CD set collects Powell's 1947 session for Roost and his Blue Note recordings from ... more »
Consider 1994 a banner year for Bud Powell reissues, with two comprehensive sets covering most of his American studio recordings. This four-CD set collects Powell's 1947 session for Roost and his Blue Note recordings from 1949 to 1958, with a final leap ahead to 1963 for a single trio track. Powell's mercurial genius is most apparent in the early sessions. The eight Roost tracks, with Curly Russell on bass and Max Roach on drums, are stunning demonstrations of Powell's flying right-hand runs, knotting harmonic complexity, and tempestuous invention, including an early recording of "Off Minor" that shows Powell's grasp of Thelonious Monk's music. A 1949 quintet session has a teenaged Sonny Rollins in the frontline with trumpeter Fats Navarro for some Powell originals, and there are multiple trio takes of "Un Poco Loco" and "A Night in Tunisia" from 1951, in which each version seems somehow to exceed the manic energy of the preceding one. The final two CDs come from 1957-58, years when Powell had moderated his style, slowing down the infernal runs and working on a probing, more Monk-like, approach that often emphasized ballads and blues. Playing recent originals like "John's Abbey" and "Time Waits" in the company of some great rhythm players--bassists Paul Chambers and Sam Jones and drummers Philly Joe Jones and Art Taylor--Powell seems to find a new voice, a concentrated lyricism that tests the piano's emotive power. The five-CD Complete Bud Powell on Verve, which concentrates on Powell's recordings from the early to mid-1950s, is an important companion. --Stuart Broomer
The essential Powell
lexo-2 | 12/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set comprises all four or so volumes of The Amazing Bud Powell, the first two discs of which were Powell's first albums as a leader and which undoubtedly represent his finest recorded work. The later discs are sometimes boggy and inept; that's the risk with consuming Powell in large quantities. The booklet is okay, but put to shame by the vast and compendious tome provided with the Verve boxed set of Powell (perhaps to make up for the fact that a lot of the music in the Verve set was distinctly substandard). For my money, Powell never played better than he did on these recordings."
Bud Powell At His Finest
firstname.lastname@example.org | Canberra, Australia | 06/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This four CD set represents all of the recordings that Bud Powell made for Blue Note and Roost Records between 1947 and 1963. The music presented is generally in a trio format, with many Powell originals amoungst the choice standards. When compared with Powell's later recordings with Verve Records, this set proves be far superior musically. Powell plays with spirited conviction throughout the entire set with very pleasing results. His interpretation of "bop" jazz was (and still is) definitive, with his unique chord voicings and composing. Take for example Powell's compositions "Bud's Bubble" and "Un Poco Loco", both of these perfectly illustrate bop piano in an almost flawless manner. From this set it also evident that Powell could swing as hard as anyone in the business (for example, "Buster Rides Again").Overall, this set represents Bud Powell at his finest. Never did he play any better than what is presented on the Blue Note recordings. Backed by the likes of Paul Chambers on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums many of the tunes stand as definitive versions. I must however, state that the recording quality throughout the set is somewhat distracting in places. The earlier dates especially carry a lot of background noise and detract from the overall experience. Also the sheer bulk of the music does tend to become a little repetative at times making listening for long periods a little hard. Other than these minor complaints however, this set stands as the best and most consistant documentation of Bud Powell and his playing. Recommended."
There is no such thing as too much Bud Powell
Robert D. Glover Jr. | Linden, NJ USA | 01/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These Bud Powell CD's get better with subsequent listenings. The genius of Bud Powell is of such depth that one or two listenings only begins to scratch the surface. I feel the same about the complete Blue Note Bud Powell collection. (I recommend both.) One simply cannot own too much Bud Powell. I urge Bud Powell fans to read Bud Powell's biography, Dance of the Infidels : A Portrait of Bud Powell by Francis Paudras. It may be hard to get, but it's well worth the effort. Bud's piano genius is all the more astounding when one learns of the hard life he led and the indignities he suffered."