Bud Powell

From Birdland (New York City, 1956)

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This Musidisc CD gives the impression that it is a collection of air checks from Birdland in 1956 featuring Bud Powell with bassist Paul Chamnbers and drummer Art Taylor. Although it is Powell playing at Birdland, both Oscar Pettiford and Charles Mingus are the actual bassists (on separate dates) while the drummer on each session is Roy Haynes. The three broadcasts included are from February and March, 1953, all of which were first released on the notorious bootleg label Alto. In spite of a little bit of occasional wow in the source material, the recording quality is quite good and the pianist is great shape as he devours both standards ("Tea for Two," "Lover, Come Back to Me," and "Embraceable You") along with bop favorites ("Lullaby of Birdland" and "Ornithology"). The sloppy packaging with generic liner notes should also come as no surprise to collectors familiar with typical releases by the now-defunct Musidisc. Bud Powell fanatics may want to look for this set, but only after acquiring all of the pianist's records for Blue Note, Verve, Roost, as well as better quality live dates like his 1960 concert in Essen, Germany (available from 1201 Music).

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