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Jazz Giant Original recording remastered

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, February 6, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

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This CD combines trio sessions from 1949 and 1950, a time when Bud Powell was at the brief peak of his powers, creating some of the definitive piano recordings of modern jazz. At its best, Powell's work represented one of those rare moments when technique, creative vision, and the historical situation combined to create masterpieces. Drawing elements of his inspiration from Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk, Powell was the one bop pianist able to hold his own as a soloist with the greatest horn players. The earlier recordings have Powell accompanied by Ray Brown on bass and Max Roach on drums, and as potent a rhythm section as that is, Powell provides much of the momentum. Ideas fly from the pianist's fingers on standards such as "Cherokee" and his own "Tempus Fugit." It's apparent from "Celia" and the moving "I'll Keep Loving You" that Powell is one of the neglected composers of jazz. On the later session, with Roach and bassist Curly Russell, there's more emphasis on Powell's ballad playing, and while the shifting approaches can suggest Tatum, there's a depth to "Body and Soul" that is Powell's alone. Shades of Monk's skewed rhythms appear in the bounce tempo "So Sorry, Please," but they arise in the midst of Powell's distinct linear invention. Jazz piano has rarely reached these heights. The Verve Master Edition presents these essential recordings with sparkling 24-bit remastering and adds new liner notes by Powell biographer Peter Pullman. --Stuart Broomer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 6, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B000058A19
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,951 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 24, 2001
Format: Audio CD
this new cd release confirms Bud's place in the greats of jazz music. While his presence was reduced in the recent Ken Burn's epic on the history of jazz, (not Bud did not even get a "greatest hits" cd in that series), here he proves his status as one of the archetics of be-bop, and earns a place in the trinity of bop along with Dizzy and Bird. Bud's music, influenced by his early study of classical music, especially Baroque, layers rythems and melodies into a complex web of sound. Bud was one of the best and the selections on this cd will please and delight any fan of jazz, new or old. A true classic and (in this day of Kenny G), one of the best reissues of the year.
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Format: Audio CD
Anyone interested in "Jazz Giant" would be far better off with the less expensive Bud Powell "Complete 1947-1951 Blue Note, Verve & Roost Sessions" compilation instead. And here's why:

1. The Blue Note/Verve/Roost compilation contains exactly the same material as "Jazz Giant" with the same personnel from the same recording sessions (trio sessions with Powell, Ray Brown & Max Roach in 1949; and Bud, Curly Russell & Roach in 1950).

2. "Jazz Giant" contains only 13 tracks. The Blue Note/Verve/Roost compilation contains 45 tracks.

3. The sound quality on the BN/V/R compilation is surprisingly bright, clean and present (a 24 bit remastering), especially considering the fact that these recordings were made some sixty year ago.

4. The BN/V/R compilation cost me six dollars less than the amazon price for "Jazz Giant."

On top of all this, the BN/V/R compilation, a 2-CD Spanish import (from the Jazz Factory), includes all of Bud's trio and solo studio sessions--all 34 of his sizzling trio pieces, all eleven of his stunningly beautiful solo pieces--for Blue Note, Verve and Roost from 1947 to 1951, including eleven wonderful Powell originals.

None of these solo pieces are included on "Jazz Giant": "A Nightingale Sang in Berkely Square," "Just One of those Things," "The Last Time I Saw Paris," "Yesterdays," "Over the Rainbow," "It Could Happen to You," and five lovely Powell originals: "Parisian Thoroughfare," "Oblivion," "Dusk in Sandi," "Hallucinations" and "The Fruit."

These eleven solo pieces alone would make the BN/V/R complilation worthwhile, but the additional 34 trio tracks (only 13 of which are included on "Jazz Giant") make it an obvious choice.
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Format: Audio CD
All the stars of the Universe is my rating for this album from Bud. Bud together with Monk and probably Tadd Dameron, is bebop piano. Period. This album shooted Bud on the top stairs of bebop pantheon. I can't judge this album ... it's a masterpiece of the twenthieth century, how could you rate it simply "five stars". We are way over here. In this album you'll find some of Bud wildest interpretations of standard tunes and some of his wonderful compositions such as Celia or The Fruit. This is something that has to be pointed out clearly, Bud was not only the greatest bop pianist but a fantastic composer too. He has been one of the few who has equalled Parker and Dameron in the bop lines writing. Bouncing with Bud, Dance of the infidels (not presented here), Hallucinations, Tempus fuge it, Celia, The fruit and many more form alltogether the picture of an impressive composer with an unlimited fantasy and creativity (not mentioning the monster chops Bud had at the piano). I can suggest this album to every jazz lover, but in particular to those so in love with the new generation of pianists ... all the Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett "alumni" from scandinavia. Come back to the root. Bud is the man. A strange fact. I have a version of this album made for the sudamerican market which has 20 tunes. There are 7 more tunes after Body and soul, they are taken from different sessions and actually they are published in the "The Genius of Bud Powell" album on Verve. Those tunes are: Oblivion, Dusk in sandi, Hallucinations, The fruit, A Nightingale sang in Berkley square, Just one of those things, Last time I saw Paris. The booklet doesn't say almost anything about these tunes (some of them are Bud alone), but the quality of this music I can Judge by myself .... stellar. Jazz giant is a masterpiece, buy it don't esitate.
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Format: Audio CD
You won't have understood Bud Powell's music, nor his legacy, without having heard these tunes, which are all superb. Any pianist worth her or his salt has struggled through at least a handful of these. We don't complain about "background noise" on important re- cordings which were made before the dubious advent of perfectly controlled digital recordings. Instead, we are thankful that these recordings were made at all. This is as recommended as it gets. Your record collection will ne'er be perfection...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When it comes to music, I certainly admire my fair share of jazz pianists. Primarily Thelonius Monk and McCoy Tyner, and others like Jaki Byard & Horace Silver. But I rarely buy albums featuring piano trios. The main reason being they lack the interplay and creative energy that you get out of the sounds from a saxophone or trumpet in group settings. Plus the notes don't bend on a piano (though I swear Monk found a way to do it). This Bud Powell collection is the exception. It doesn't need to be said, but Bud Powell was a jazz genius. A virtuoso performer as well as a gifted composer. He was able to emote - with both velocity and graceful agility - the kind of spontaneous imagination expressed by Charlie Parker. Powell's playing, and the quality of these recordings, is among the best jazz music ever put to record. With the incomparable Max Roach on drums and Curly Russell & Ray Brown splitting bass duties, this album showcases Bud's astounding musical talent. I'm a huge Clifford Brown fan and love his version of "Cherokee" but Powell's rendition here makes Brownie's version seem almost tame in comparison. "Tempus Fugit" is another incredible piece, almost dizzying in its rhythmic velocity and use of scalar flights and runs (rivaling perhaps even the great Art Tatum). Most of the remaining songs on JAZZ GIANT are up-tempo, but there are three ballads including the Powell original, "I'll Keep Loving You," an absolutely beautiful composition (and as enchanting as anything Bill Evans ever recorded). The only negative I can think of: Max Roach, who is arguably the greatest and most innovative drummer from the bebop era, gets hardly any opportunity to add to the musical dialogue. But then this is Powell's stage, not Roach's.Read more ›
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