Bud Powell

Award at Birdland (1964)

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When pianist Bud Powell returned to the United States after five relatively happy years in France, he played a successful engagement at Birdland and then had a quick decline before passing away in 1966. This CD from the Mythic Sound label was Powell's last hurrah -- he would only record one more studio album in his career -- and it features him playing in a trio with bassist John Ore and drummer J.C. Moses at Birdland. The set begins with Powell receiving an obscure award (and saying a few words) before he performs a dozen numbers; all are standards except for his own "Monopoly." Although not the strongest Bud Powell set available (and the recording quality is quite erratic), this interesting release hints at what might have been and shows that Powell could still play well this late in his troubled life.