|All Artists: Bud Powell|
Title: Complete Blue Note & Verve
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Jazz Factory Spain
Release Date: 8/3/2004
Album Type: Import
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
So Sorry Please
ADB | Colorado Springs, CO United States | 07/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The other reviewer is awfully rough on this set. There's simply no way that the music here--which ranks among the greatest jazz ever recorded--deserves one star. So I'm trying to balance things out.
For one thing, the title is: "Complete 1947-1951 Blue Note, Verve, & Roost Sessions". So, of course, it doesn't have the Blue Note and Verve recordings after 1951 (when Bud's powers tended to slip). It's also mostly a set of masters; it only includes a few alternate takes, mostly at the end of the second disc.
In other words, the set is basically true to its claim. There is one important exception: It does not include the very important Bud Powell's Modernists session for Blue Note with Fats Navarro and 19-yr-old Sonny Rollins recorded 9 August 1949, which produced such classics as "Bouncing with Bud", "Wail", and "Dance of the Infidels". So it really should have "Solo and Trio Masters" in the title. That would make it completely honest (as the liner notes, at least, already are).
So, that gives you basically all the very best solo and trio masters Powell ever recorded--and an argument can be made that the Modernists session, which suddenly introduces horns, would break up the mood and take some focus away from Powell's piano. I buy that, really. It makes this probably the best *listening* option for Powell recordings on the market. And at a deeply discounted price!
The problem with The Complete Blue Note and Roost Recordings (now oop) is that it's designed for completists not ordinary listeners. Ditto for The Complete Verve (six takes in a row of "Star Eyes"!). Not many people want to listen through all the alternate and incomplete takes very often. So, with those sets you usually will want to do a fair bit of programming. The advantage of this set is you can just pop the discs in and sit back and listen to what Powell wanted to have released. Pure exhilarating bliss! If you want to hear the few alternate takes at the end of disc two (and the alternate "Ornithology" at the end of disc one), you can; or you can just shut it off. The alternate takes are instructive and of extraordinary interest to Powell scholars and aficionados; but the average listener wants just the cream, and that's mostly what you've got here. "Bud's Bubble", "Tempus Fugue-it", "All God's Chillun Got Rhythm", "So Sorry Please", "April in Paris", "Tea for Two", "Parisian Thoroughfare", "Dusk in Sandi", "Just One of Those Things", and the supreme monster, "Un Poco Loco": It does not get any better than this! (And no single "Best of" disc comes close to this selection, either.)
What's missing (besides the 1949 session with Rollins) are the later, mellower, less pyrotechnic Powell recordings. Personally, I think some of this material is underrated. "Glass Enclosure", "It Never Entered My Mind", "Tenderly", "Bud on Bach", "Time Waits": all gems, all exceptional music. I wouldn't want to do without 'em, but they're not as essential as the titles I listed in the previous paragraph, which are all included in this set. For someone new to Powell, the material here (through 1951) is what you really want to get to know, and for the confirmed Powell fan, this is what you want to return to most often.
True, what we need is a complete set of Bud Powell masters. That would be definitive for listening purposes, and it's an amazing shame such a thing isn't on the market right now. In the meantime, if you want a set of Powell recordings strictly for listening (not archival, completist, scholarly) purposes, this set here seems to be the best you can do. It's great, great, great intense music--at the very least the best jazz piano recordings between Art Tatum's early work and Bill Evans. And I don't for a second rate Powell below those guys; he's just different, of his own moment, equally essential, and uniquely ecstatic.
Incomplete set! - warning
pdX | West Hollywood, CA United States | 08/25/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Incomplete on both counts: Blue Note AND Verve!
While this product claims to be the complete Blue Note and Verve recordings by Bud Powell, it only contains 45 of the 75 tracks that another boxed set contains. The set you're looking for is called Bud Powell, The Complete Blue Note and Roost Recordings, item number CDP 7243 8 30083 2 2. It was published in 1994 under the Blue Note label by Capitol Records. It's four discs in total, 4.6hrs of music. Very clear personnel listings.
I just bought the set I'm describing, and I'm very happy with it.
Also note there is a separate Bud Powell Complete Verve with over 100 tracks. It is sold by Amazon and comes up immediately when you search via it's ASIN: B0000046TK."
A much better choice than Jazz Giant or The Genius of Bud Po
Ben Nevis | 09/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone interested in the Bud Powell "Jazz Giant" CD or the "The Genius of Bud Powell" CD would be far better off with this less expensive compilation instead, the correct title of which is actually the "Complete 1947-1951 Blue Note, Verve & Roost Sessions." And here's why:
1. The Blue Note/Verve/Roost compilation contains exactly the same material as "Jazz Giant" with the same personnel from the same recording sessions (trio sessions with Powell, Ray Brown & Max Roach in 1949; and BP, Curly Russell & Roach in 1950). The Blue Note/Verve/Roost compilation also contains exactly the same material as "The Genius of Bud Powell" with same personnel from the same recording sessions (solo sessions in 1951, and trio sessions with Ray Brown & Buddy Rich in 1950).
2. "Jazz Giant" contains only 13 tracks. "The Genius of Bud Powell" contains only 12 tracks. The Blue Note/Verve/Roost compilation contains 45 tracks.
3. The sound quality on the BN/V/R compilation is surprisingly bright, clean and present (a 24 bit remastering), especially considering the fact that these recordings were made some sixty year ago.
4. The BN/V/R compilation cost me six dollars less than the amazon price for "Jazz Giant," two dollars less than "The Genius of Bud Powell," and $21 less than the COMBINED amazon price for BOTH "Jazz Giant" and "The Genius of Bud Powell."
On top of all this, the BN/V/R compilation, a 2-CD Spanish import (from the Jazz Factory), apparently includes all of Bud Powell's trio studio sessions for Blue Note, Verve and Roost from 1947 to 1951, as well as all of his stunning solo work: "Parisian Thoroughfare," "Oblivion," "Dusk in Sandi," "Hallucinations," "The Fruit," "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," Just One of Those Things," and "The Last Time I saw Paris."
These eight solo pieces alone (which are also included on "The Genius of BP") would make this complilation worthwhile, but the additional 37 trio tracks (especially the 13 tracks also included on "Jazz Giant") make it an obvious choice.
Of the three dozen trio pieces included on the Blue Note/Verve/Roost compilation, there are many simply amazing performances I wouldn't want to do without, especially the Powell originals "Celia," "Strictly Confidential," "Tempus Fugue-It," "So Sorry Please," "I'll Keep Loving You," "Bud's Bubble," "Un Poco Loco" (three takes), and my personal favorite "Parisian Thoroughfare" (in both solo and trio sessions), not to mention "Cherokee," "A Night in Tunisia" (two takes), Monk's "Off Minor," as well as two takes of "Ornithology."
In other words, the BN/V/R compilation contains 24 trio pieces and eight solo pieces not included on "Jazz Giant," 33 trio pieces not included on "The Genius of BP," and for $21 less, the compilation gives you 20 more tracks than the two competing CDs COMBINED.
One very minor complaint (or maybe it's really more of a lament): the trio session of "Parisian Thoroughfare" (included on the BN/V/R compilation, but absent from the two competing CDs) ends abruptly when someone (perhaps BP himself) simply says: "Hey, cut it, man." But at least there's 3:27 of this brilliant rendition of one of the great Bud Powell originals.