Bud Powell trio – live in Oslo – September 1962 – NRK-Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Bud Powell trio on this Easter Sunday, with Erik Amundsen on bass and Ole Jacob Hansen on drums from a session recorded for NRK-Radio in Oslo around September 1962. Wish it sounded better, but as is the case with Bud Powell; just about anything is worth listening to, no matter what you have to go through the do it. Clearly, a fan recorded this one off the air, and whether or not NRK has the original in their archives is up for speculation. It would be nice if they did.
Along with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie, Powell was a leading figure in the development of modern jazz, or bebop. His virtuosity led many to call him the Charlie Parker of the piano. Powell was also a composer, and many jazz critics credit his works and his playing as having “greatly extended the range of jazz harmony.”
Jazz pianist Bill Cunliffe said Powell was “the first pianist to take Charlie Parker’s language and adapt it successfully to the piano.” His melodic lines were influenced by Billy Kyle and his accompaniment of horn solos was influenced by Earl Hines, Teddy Wilson, and stride piano. His comping often consisted of single bass notes outlining the root and fifth. He used voicings of the root and the tenth or the root with the minor seventh. He was influenced by Monk and Art Tatum. His solos imitated the attack of horn players, with frequent arpeggios punctuated by chromaticism. This was, in part, due to his desire to see the pianist get the adulation usually reserved for the saxophonist or trumpeter. Powell freed the right hand for continuous linear exploration at the expense of developing the left. Powell dictated the time when he played, in particular throughout the eight-notes in his right hand, participating in the time-keeping with the bassist and drummer. This is reminiscent of recordings of Charlie Parker.
Powell influenced countless younger musicians, especially pianists. These included Horace Silver, Wynton Kelly, Andre Previn, McCoy Tyner, Cedar Walton, and Chick Corea.
Bill Evans, who described Powell as his single greatest influence, paid the pianist a tribute in 1979: “If I had to choose one single musician for his artistic integrity, for the incomparable originality of his creation and the grandeur of his work, it would be Bud Powell. He was in a class by himself”.
Herbie Hancock said of Powell, in a Down Beat magazine interview in 1966: “He was the foundation out of which stemmed the whole edifice of modern jazz piano”.
Hit the Play button and dive in – hopefully, if you’re new to Bud Powell, going on a journey of discovery will do you wonders.