Bud Powell

Birdland 1953




Bud Powell ranks as one of the most influential pianists in jazz history, his style having provided the template for innumerable bebop pianists who followed in his wake. This newly compiled and mastered three-CD set captures Powell at his peak on his home turf at the famed Birdland club, recorded onsite (these are not "air checks" taped from radio), and mostly working with top-notch sidemen such as Charles Mingus, Oscar Pettiford, Roy Haynes, and Art Taylor, along with guest appearances by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Producer Michael D. Anderson fixed pitch problems and personnel listings that have plagued previous versions of some of this material from the collection of Boris Rose as issued on other labels. 

From Russ Musto's booklet essay: "Powell biographer Peter Pullman noted, in his carefully researched volume Wail: The Life of Bud Powell, that 1953 was 'the busiest year of Powell’s career.' After having spent more than sixteen months in various mental institutions, where he was subjected to electroshock therapy, the great pianist was finally released early in that year.  Declared 'incompetent' by the state of New York, he was placed under the supervision of Oscar Goodstein, his personal manager and the manager of Birdland, who booked 'Powell to play for twenty weeks at the club,' according to Pullman. The regular work that the pianist had during the year allowed him to regain much of the virtuoso technique that had often eluded him after repeated nervous breakdowns; on good nights (several of which are documented here) he once again proved that he was indeed 'The Amazing Bud Powell.'"

Track Listing

DISC 1

February 7, 1953 – THE BUD POWELL TRIO

Oscar Pettiford, bass; Roy Haynes, drums

1. Theme: Lullaby of Birdland (George Shearing) / Announcer Introduction

2. Tea for Two (Vincent Youmans & Irving Caesar)

3. It Could Happen to You (Johnny Burke & Jimmy Van Heusen)

4. Bean and the Boys (Coleman Hawkins); previously listed as "Lover Come Back to Me" (Sigmund Romberg & Oscar Hammerstein II)

February 14, 1953 – THE BUD POWELL TRIO

Oscar Pettiford, bass; Roy Haynes, drums

5. Theme: Lullaby of Birdland (George Shearing)

6. I Want to Be Happy (Vincent Youmans & Irving Caesar)

7. Embraceable You (George & Ira Gershwin)

8. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter)

9. Ornithology (Charlie Parker & Benny Harris)

10. Theme: Lullaby of Birdland (George Shearing)

March 7, 1953 – THE BUD POWELL TRIO

Franklin Skeetes, bass; Sonny Payne, drums

11. Theme: Lullaby of Birdland (George Shearing)

12. Hallelujah! (Clifford Grey/Leo Robin/Vincent Youmans)

13. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter)

14. Embraceable You (George & Ira Gershwin)

15. How High the Moon (Morgan Lewis & Nancy Hamilton) / Ornithology (Charlie Parker& Benny Harris)

16. Budo (Miles Davis & Bud Powell)

DISC 2

March 14, 1953 – THE BUD POWELL TRIO

Charles Mingus, bass; Roy Haynes, drums

1. I Want to Be Happy (Vincent Youmans & Irving Caesar)

2. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter)

3. Sure Thing (George & Ira Gershwin)

4. Embraceable You (George & Ira Gershwin)

5. Woody'n You (John Birks Gillespie)

6. Salt Peanuts (John Birks Gillespie & Kenny Clarke)

7. Theme: Lullaby of Birdland (George Shearing)

Possibly May 16, 1953 – THE BUD POWELL TRIO WITH DIZZY GILLESPIE

Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet; Charles Mingus, bass; Roy Haynes, drums

8. Woody'n You (John Birks Gillespie)

9. Salt Peanuts (John Birks Gillespie & Kenny Clarke)

Possibly May 23, 1953 – THE BUD POWELL TRIO WITH CHARLIE PARKER

Charlie Parker, alto saxophone; Charles Mingus, bass; Art Taylor, drums

10. Dance of the Infidels (Bud Powell)

May 30, 1953 A – THE BUD POWELL TRIO

Charles Mingus, bass; Art Taylor, drums

11. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter)

12. Autumn in New York (Vernon Duke)

13. I Want to Be Happy (Vincent Youmans & Irving Caesar)

May 30, 1953-B – THE BUD POWELL TRIO WITH CHARLIE PARKER AND CANDIDO

Charlie Parker, alto saxophone; Charles Mingus, bass; Art Taylor, drums; Candido, congas

14. Moose the Mooche (Charlie Parker)

15. Cheryl (Charlie Parker)

June 20, 1953 – THE BUD POWELL TRIO

Charles Mingus, bass; Art Taylor, drums

16. Budo (Miles Davis & Bud Powell)

17. My Heart Stood Still (Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart)

DISC 3

July 11, 1953 – THE BUD POWELL TRIO

Charles Mingus, bass; Art Taylor, drums

1. Dance of the Infidels (Bud Powell)

August 29, 1953 – THE BUD POWELL TRIO

Charles Mingus, bass; Art Taylor, drums

2. Dance of the Infidels (Bud Powell)

September 5, 1953– THE BUD POWELL TRIO

George Duvivier, bass; Art Taylor, drums

3. Un Poco Loco (Bud Powell)

4. Parisian Thoroughfare (Bud Powell)

5. Dance of the Infidels (Bud Powell)

6. Glass Enclosure (Bud Powell)

7. My Heart Stood Still (Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart)

September 19, 1953 – THE BUD POWELL TRIO

George Duvivier, bass; Art Taylor, drums

8. Parisian Thoroughfare (Bud Powell)

9. Dance of the Infidels (Bud Powell)

10. Un Poco Loco (Bud Powell)

11. Oblivion (Bud Powell)

September 26, 1953 – THE BUD POWELL TRIO

Curley Russell, bass; Art Taylor, drums

12. Parisian Thoroughfare (Bud Powell)

13. Dance of the Infidels (Bud Powell)

14. Embraceable You (George & Ira Gershwin)

15. Un Poco Loco (Bud Powell)

16. Oblivion (Bud Powell)


Press Quotes

"...arguably the largest pianistic influence to appear after the war….As a soloist, Powell owned a superhuman technique that allowed him percussively to pop syncopated accents out of long lines of eighth notes, often at blindingly fast tempos. By doing so, he was able to deliver jazz's characteristic accenting, its rhythmic DNA, into a more complex musical universe; rhythmic patterns that might have appeared 10 years earlier as big-band riffs showed up in Powell's work as the accented notes in long, serpentine melodic lines." – Tom Piazza, The New York Times

Musicians: Bud Powell

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  • Product Code: ESP4073
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