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Birdland 1953 Complete Trio Recordings

Bud Powell Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 July 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fresh Sound
  • ASIN: B0002JEO6U
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 303,468 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great playing by Bud Powell 13 Jan 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Listening to this recording gives us an insight into Lennie Tristano's comment about Bud Powell's matchless intensity.
At the moment I am enthralled with the trio selections featuring Bud with Roy Haynes and Oscar Pettiford.
What an incredible trio. People who have been accustomed to the relatively sedate sound of most of todays piano trios will be astonished
to hear the fiery intensity of Bud's.
These recordings give us a seat at a table up front, right next to those lucky people who were there hearing Bud Powell live.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of five essential Bud Powell live CDs 19 Feb 2011
By Ben Nevis - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
"Birdland 1953: The Complete Trio Recordings," a 2-CD import from Fresh Sounds Records, is one of five essential collections of live Bud Powell performances available on CD.

Powell is at his sizzling and lyrical best in these radio broadcasts from Birdland in February, March, May, June and September of 1953, with six different groupings of trio personnel. On the first CD, it's Bud with Oscar Pettiford on bass and Roy Haynes on drums for: "Tea for Two," "It Could Happen to You," "Lover Come Back to Me," "I Want to Be Happy," "Embraceable You," "I've Got You under My Skin," Ornithology," and two versions of "Lullaby of Birdland." Franklin Sheets (b) and Sonny Payne (d) on: "How High the Moon," the Powell original "Budo," "Hallelujiah," "I've Got You under My Skin," and "Embraceable You." Charles Mingus (b) and Roy Haynes (d) on: "I Want to Be Happy," "I've Got You under My Skin," "Sure Thing," "Embraceable You," "Woody n You," "Salt Peanuts," and "Lullaby of Birdland."

On the second CD, it's Bud with Charles Mingus (b) and Art Taylor (d) on: ""I've Got You under My Skin," "Autumn in New York," "I Want to Be Happy," "Budo," "My Heart Stood Still," and two versions of the Powell original "Dance of the Infidels." George Duvivier (b) and Max Roach (d) on: "My Heart Stood Still," and the four Powell originals "Un Poco Loco," "Parisian Thoroughfare," "Dance of the Infidels," and "Glass Enclosure." George Duvivier and Art Taylor on the Powell orignals "Parisian Thoroughfare" and "Dance of the Infidels." And Curley Russell and Art Taylor on: "Embraceable You," and the four Powell originals "Parisian Thoroughfare," "Dance of the Infidels," two versions of "Un Poco Loco," and two versions of "Oblivion."

Although the sound quality throughout is rather poor, it is not a significant distraction, and the pure genius of Powell's playing shines through. In fact, these are some of the most superb performances of Bud's entire career, and they come after he spent a year in a state mental hospital in 1952. He was released in February 1953, only days before the first of these recordings were made. It was near the end of his early period as leader, 1947 to 1953, when he was at the height of his powers. What is soon to follow these 1953 broadcasts is his most consistently disappointing work--clunking, uninspired, mediocre--from 1954 to 1956, which is the first half of his middle period, 1954 to 1958. And then some of the best tracks in Bud's career follow in his late period, with concert and studio sessions recorded in Europe between November 1959 and August 1964 (with his most disappointing work coming from September 1964 on, with Powell's ill-fated return to New York).

But Bud is simply amazing at Birdland in 1953. His inventiveness here is at least the equal to that of his legendary quintet work at Birdland in May of 1950, with Charlie Parker and Fats Navarro, or his stunning trio work at Massey Hall in 1953, with Charles Mingus and Max Roach, or the absolutely lovely late Powell concerts in Geneva, in Lausanne, and in Copenhagen in 1962.

Which is to say, the performances on "Birdland 1953: The Complete Trio Recordings" are among the most masterful, the most intricate, the most engaging in the history of jazz.

So don't wait until this extraordinary CD disappears; pounce.

Five Essential Bud Powell Concerts Available on CD:

1. Birdland, May 17, 1950, the legendary quintet work with Bud, Charlie Parker on alto sax, Fats Navarro on trumpet, Curley Russell on bass, and Art Blakey on drums (available on RLR's 2-CD set "Charlie Parker: Complete Live at Birdland" and Proper's 4-Cd set "Charlie Parker: Chasin the Bird," and five of the fifteen tracks are also available on Proper's 4 CD-set "Bud Powell: Tempus Fugue-It"). Poor sound quality, but Bud, Bird and Fats are on fire at Birdland. Arguably the greatest recorded concert in jazz history.

2. Massey Hall, May 15, 1953, another legendary quintet with Bud, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, but it is in the trio pieces that Bud really shines, with Charles Mingus and Max Roach (available on the Jazz Factory's "Complete Jazz at Massey Hall"). Very good sound quality, considering the time period.

3. Birdland radio broadcasts, 1953, trio pieces from various dates in February, March, May and September of that year with various personnel, including Oscar Pettiford, Roy Haynes, Charles Mingus, Art Taylor, George Duvivier, and Max Roach (available on Fresh Sound's 2-CD set "Birdland 1953: The Complete Trio Recordings"). Poor sound quality, but indispensible Bud. And a lot of it, some 42 tracks of Powell at his best.

4. Hot Club, Geneva, February 1, 1962, trio pieces with M. Cortesi on bass and Jackie Cavussin on drums, in decent but not great sound quality (available on Gambit Records' "Live in Geneva"). Bud sizzles like it's 1953 or 1950. With two bonus tracks featuring a duet: Bud and Johnny Griffin on tenor, recorded in Paris on February 14, 1960. Just priceless.

5. Lausanne Radio, January 31, 1962, Bud with Bob Jacquillard on bass and Mike Stevenot on drums, and with lovely sound quality (available on Stretch Archives' "Live in Lausanne 1962"). Swinging and upbeat and one of my favorite concert performances. Period.

The Best of the Rest of Bud Powell Live, Available on CD:

6. Essen Jazz Festival, West Germany, April 2, 1960, Bud with Oscar Pettiford on bass, Kenny Clarke on drums, and (on four tracks) Coleman Hawkins, in good sound quality (available on Black Lion's "The Complete Essen Jazz Festival Concert"). Hawkins is just wonderful, but Bud is at his best on those tracks without CH.

7. Cafe Montmartre, Copenhagen, April 26, 1962, Bud with Niels-Henning Orsted on bass and William Schioffe on drums, in good sound quality (available on Delmark's "Bouncing with Bud"). Swinging and upbeat and just lovely.

8. Paris, Club Saint-Germain in 1957 and 1959, La Radio Television Francaise in 1959, Blue Note Cafe in 1959 and 1961, trio, quartet, and quintet sessions with various personnel, including Pierre Michelot, Kenny Clarke, Clark Terry, Barney Wilen and Zoot Sims (available on Pablo's "Parisian Thoroughfares"). The six tracks from the Club Saint-Germain are among my favorites. Most tracks have surpisingly good sound, a couple less so. But Bud's playing is sizzling throughout.

9. Paris, duets, trios, and quartets from sessions at the Blue Note Cafe and other unspecified clubs in December of 1959, and February, June and October of 1960, with Pierre Michelot on bass, Kenny Clarke on drums, including two lovely quartet tracks with Barney Wilen on sax, and two amazing duet tracks with Bud and Johnny Griffen on sax, in poor sound on some tracks, decent sound on others (available on Xanadu's "Bud in Paris"). At times sizzling, at times lyrical, but beautiful Bud through and through (the two duet tracks are also available on Gambit Records' "Live in Geneva," as noted in item #4 above).

10. Club Kavakos, April 5, 1953, Washington DC, Bud with Charles Mingus and Roy Haynes (available on Collectibles' "Inner Fires"). Poor sound quality. Exceptional Bud. But just a little too much drum solo for my taste. Others may find this concert as rewarding as the extraordinary Birdland broadcasts of 1953 (see item #3 above).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest jazz pianist captured live, at peak of his mastery 5 Jun 2008
By Firebrand - Published on
Format:Audio CD
The still underappreciated Bud Powell was the greatest jazz pianist who ever touched a keyboard (one of the greatest pianists, period), and one of the fathers of modern music. This historic and previously rare collection (updated in 2004) of 1953 radio broadcasts from Birdland captures Powell at his electrifying peak. You will not hear more beautiful, jaw-dropping piano than this. Nobody before or since Powell played like he did.

These recordings were originally from the private collection of Boris Rose, who taped the sessions off of radio broadcasts. They have been released over the past decades on a variety of obscure collector LPs and CDs. Here finally is a well produced package, worthy of the material, and the legend.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the all time greats with some great rhythm sections 22 April 2012
By Mike Tarrani - Published on
Verified Purchase
First, let me say that a previous reviewer is spot on in his review as well as in his recommendations for essential Bud Powell albums.

Bud, to me, is one the the three most inspiring pianists in American jazz from any period (my other two favorites are Teddy Wilson and Thelonious Monk.) I spend a lot of time listening to piano- and saxophone-centric music, which means that Bud's albums get a lot of play. What makes this album extra special to me, though, is the rhythm sections that were recorded with Bud. The constant is Bud's own playing, which on this album is during a specific period giving that a reference point. The variables are the bassists and drummers. As a drummer this album taught me a lot!

When one listens to a lot of jazz (in my case, constantly), it becomes easy to pick out different musicians by their style. For example, Roy Haynes on drums has such a distinct style that even non-musicians will recognize him after a while. Other drummers, such as Art Taylor, can be more difficult to pin down because their playing seems to be so perfectly matched to whichever song they are supporting that their personal style is subdued. I personally think that is a good thing, but it also lulls a listener into taking such musicians for granted and not carefully listening to how they are contributing to the music. I am singling out Taylor because he is one of the most prolific drummers of his eras, playing with nearly everyone in live performance as well as in the studio. Yet, Taylor and the others on this album, have a lot to teach drummers, as does Bud for pianists and composers, and, of course the bassists on this album are among the best of the era.

I am not suggesting that you exclude Bud from your critical listening, but if you happen to be a bassist or drummer, there is so much to learn from this album that it's almost worthy of a continuing education credit.

The biggest surprise I had was discovering that Sonny Payne was on the album, and even more so because his playing is very subdued - not the Sonny of the Basie years. Still, I was very taken with his brush technique, and also on How High the Moon he was well under the music laying down a solid groove without calling any attention to himself - not the Sonny of the Basie years for sure.

However, all of the tracks on this album represent amazing music that, even if you are dissecting it to learn, should be listened to as a whole. The value of the album is also to enjoy the music without focusing on any particular instrument or musician, You can, and should, do both.

I also recommend this great album, which contains a wider array of Bud's music: Tempus Fugue-It and for drummers, Bud Powell in Europe (1960/1964) because the great Kenny Clarke (and Art Taylor) have the drum chair. Some folks claim Bud had declined greatly during this period, but he could still hold his own in my opinion. And, not to drift off topic, but for folks who want to hear Art Taylor sound like Art Taylor instead of a chameleon, grab this extended album: The Ultimate Jazz Collection by Red Garland (with Art Taylor and Paul Chambers.)
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for Bud's performance, but tuning issues prevalent throughout 13 Feb 2014
By Gregory Chen - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Bud plays brilliantly. Unfortunately, all the songs are around a quarter tone off (sometimes more)...shoddy engineering. Bud's music deserves better. I've been retuning these tracks back to original key, and have discovered that the entire record isn't even consistently out of tune. Some tracks are 30 cents sharp, while others are nearly an entire semitone out. Just unacceptable.
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