This album features trio performances by pianist Bud Powell, bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Roy Haynes that were recorded live at a Washington D.C. club; they were released for the first time in 1982. Powell is in consistently exciting form (this was one of his good nights) and the musicians sound inspired and creative during the set of bop-oriented standards. This recording concludes with a couple of excerpts from Bud Powell interviews held in 1963, giving listeners a rare chance to hear his voice.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. Strictly Bud Powell, in the best sense of the word – as the album's a sharp batch of trio tracks recorded for RCA in the 50s, and a great showcase for Bud's firey talents on the piano! The rhythm combo features bold work on drums from Art Taylor, alongside the bass of George Duvivier – but Powell's definitely the leading light here, as the album features some of his tremendously deft work on the keys throughout. There's a nice tension to the material – played with a strength that matches most of Bud's other work from the time – but a bit different than some of his other recordings for Verve and Blue Note. The set features 11 tracks in all – and titles include "Time Was", "Jump City", "Elegy", "Coscrane", and "Topsy Turvy".
In 1951, Bud Powell was still at the height of his considerable powers. Included here are two sessions from that year: a trio with Ray Brown and Buddy Rich (three takes of "Tea for Two" and a super-fast "Hallelujah") and eight solo piano tunes from a different date. On "Tea for Two," Rich's drumming brings out the charming show-off in Powell, and on "Hallelujah," Powell plays with a hysterical clarity. "Oblivion" and "Hallucinations" are the most masterful of the eight solo cuts. Here Powell swings effortlessly and seems to be speaking his own, true language. The elegance of another era pervades the Gershwin-esque "Parisian Thoroughfare" and "Dusk in Sandi." And one can imagine a young Bill Evans listening to "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and taking note of the rich, logical voicings coupled with a wonderful singing tone.
This 1959 concert in Paris by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers has been sporadically available on various labels, but this reissue in Verve's Jazz in Paris series is the best sounding and best packaged of the lot. Blakey's group of this period (Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Jymie Merritt, and Walter Davis, Jr.) is in great form during an extended workout of Morgan's intense blues "The Midget," and Dizzy Gillespie's timeless "A Night in Tunisia" is kicked off by Blakey's an electrifying solo. But it is the addition of some special guests for the first two numbers that proves to be extra special. Bud Powell, sitting in for Davis, and French saxophonist Barney Wilen, on alto rather than his normal tenor sax, are both added to the band for inspired versions of Powell's "Dance of the Infidels" and "Bouncing with Bud." Morgan's trumpet playing is outstanding throughout the concert. This is one of the essential live dates in Art Blakey's rather extensive discography.
Sonny Stitt (2006 Japanese exclusive limited edition 17-track 'K2 High Definition Coding' CD album, originally released in 1956, also featuring Bud Powell & J.J. Johnson with THREE BONUS TRACKS, presented in mini LP-style cardsleeve reproducing the original album artwork with 'Jazz' obi-strip.) Three classic Sonny Stitt sessions from 1949-50 are heard here in full. Stitt, who had been out of action due to his "personal problems," not only made a full-fledged comeback on these dates but debuted on (and stuck exclusively to) tenor rather than playing alto, where he was being assailed as a Charlie Parker imitator.
First released in 1956, this trio recording features the legendary pianist accompanied by Ray Brown on bass and Osie Johnson on drums. The sound is superb, unlike some other session, and Bud still has great command of his instrument, which is not always the case on those various 60s live albums. Jazz fans, have no fear of what's hiding in Bud's closet!