Bud Powell

Parisian Thoroughfare

Composed by Bud Powell

Song Review by

One of Bud Powell's most memorable compositions is "Parisian Thoroughfare," a tricky bop anthem that has had particular appeal to jazz pianists. Powell recorded his composition on two occasions for different labels during 1951; initially as a piano solo for Verve in February, and a trio version for Blue Note which was inexplicably halted by the pianist and not re-recorded again for the label. The rhythm of the piece seems to allude to the stop-and-go nature of traffic, as well as the hustle and bustle in a big city. In addition to Powell's early recordings and later live interpretations, a number of musicians have been drawn to it. Clifford Brown's famous recording of the piece (possibly arranged by Richie Powell, the composer's brother, and also the pianist in the group Brown jointly led with Max Roach) is full of humorous moments, incorporating Gershwin's "An American in Paris" and the French national anthem, "L'Marseillaise." Jaki Byard built upon this chart for his wild ride through it with Rashaan Roland Kirk. Others who recorded the piece on several occasions with success include Stephane Grappelli, Quincy Jones, and Andy LaVerne. This classic bop vehicle has clearly stood the test of time.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Amazing Bud Powell, Vol. 1 1951 Toshiba EMI 3:24
Autumn Broadcasts, 1953 1953 ESP-Disk 3:54
The Amazing Bud Powell, Vol. 2 1955 Blue Note 3:26
No Image 1956 Verve 2:31
In Paris 1963 Warner Bros. 1:57
No Image 1972 Discovery 1:54
No Image 1976 Verve 2:27
The Best of Bud Powell 1989 Blue Note 3:25
Blue Piano, Vol. 1 1992
Various Artists
Blue Note
The Best of Bud Powell on Verve 1994 Verve / Polygram 2:28
Complete Bud Powell on Verve 1994 Verve / Polygram 2:28
The Complete Blue Note and Roost Recordings 1994 Blue Note 3:26
Ultimate Jazz [Polygram] 1998
Various Artists
Verve / Polygram 2:28
Genius of Modern Piano: 1947-1957 1998 Giants Of Jazz Recordings 2:26
Ultimate Bebop 1999
Various Artists
Verve 2:31
The Quintessence New York: 1944-1949 2002 Frémeaux & Associés 3:26
The Definitive Bud Powell 2002 Blue Note 2:30
Just One of Those Things 2002 Past Perfect 2:31
Mordern Jazz Archive 2004 Membran 2:29
Genius of the Bebop Piano: 1944-1951 2004 Jazz Legends 2:33
Birdland 1953: The Complete Trio Recordings 2004 Fresh Sound
Americans in Paris: Jazzmen Love France 2004
Various Artists
Cristal 3:26
Bebop Pianists 2005 EPM 3:27
The Very Best 2005 Blue Note 3:21
My First Jazz Day Version: Golden LP 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
No Image 2008 Nocturne Records 2:32
Bud Powell HiFi Hits 2012 Hifi Hits 2:25
The  Classic Recordings, 1949-1956 2016 Enlightenment Series 3:25
No Image BD Jazz 2:32
Jazz Explosion, Vol. 2 Jazz Classics 3:24
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 2:31
The Amazing Bud Powell Blue Note 3:24
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