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Bud Plays Bird

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 2, 1996
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  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
6:27
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2
30
4:13
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3
30
4:05
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4
30
4:07
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5
30
4:30
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6
30
5:54
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7
30
4:05
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8
30
5:43
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9
30
4:10
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10
30
4:17
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11
30
3:39
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12
30
5:09
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13
30
3:54
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14
30
2:45
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15
30
3:29
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 2, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: April 2, 1996
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B000005H2X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,394 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 9, 2001
Format: Audio CD
These late 1950s tracks originally recorded for Roulette, were rediscovered and rescued by Michael Cuscuna (kudos for his work). A solid, relatively good performance from that period of Powell's recording career. Powell shows flashes, but there is a casual repetitive undercurrent, a lack of dynamic tension, even when Powell hits top speed ("Big Foot", "KoKo", "Moose the Mooche"). Part of the blame is Art Taylor's somewhat boring drumming. He had already moved into a sparer, more Monk-like sound, his terrifying brilliance from his earlier days, dimmed. Compare his treatment of "Ornithology" here to his Blue Note 1949 recording ("Amazing Bud Powell" v.1). Bud Plays Bird ranks with Bud's later Blue Notes. While individual cuts are brilliant, the date as a whole is simply "pretty okay".
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Format: Audio CD
Bud Powell and Charlie Parker made some of the most amazing 50's jazz together. One concert produced the famous "Jazz At Massey Hall" album. Parker passed away in 1955, and Bud Powell was by then considered to be past his prime, due to mental health problems. This 1958 shows that Bud Powell could still play very well. This CD has 14 Charlie Parker songs and "Salt Peanuts" by Dizzy Gillespie near the end. The songs are taken at a pretty fast pace, and luckily Powell had a good rhythm section to help. George Duvivier on bass and Art Taylor on drums keep things interesting and fill in any spots Powell lays out. Most of the songs have good melodies, and Powell doesn't overstay any of their welcomes. If any of this interests you, you should get it.
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Format: MP3 Music
This album was apparently lost in the bureaucracy because the tracks from the three sessions produced it languished in cans for nearly forty years. That's mere trivia. What is important is they were discovered, remastered and released. This does not stand as a shining example of Bud's essential works, but it is a treasure for those of us who are die hard fans.

I'm not going to dissect the tracks because the sound samples on this page provide enough information for you to make your own determination. I do feel compelled to refute a statement about Art Taylor's drumming being boring. Taylor is in perfect form on this album and is one of the reasons I have it in my frequent play rotation. He was in such demand for sessions and pick up gigs that he developed the knack of being a chameleon - subsuming his incredible skills and sounding like the producers wanted him to. Here he manages to play like a mid 40s bebop drummer because the music demanded it. One other factor that I love is George Duvivier's bass work. Like Taylor he was one of the more in-demand session musicians of the era and well versed in the music he was called upon to support on this album. I cannot think of two more perfect members of a rhythm section to play Bird's (and Dizzy's compositions.)

Yes, among the tracks are two Dizzy Gillespie compositions: Salt Peanuts jumps right out at you, but Dizzy had a hand in Shaw 'Nuff. The song is actually credited to Ray Brown with co-composer credits going to Gil Fuller and Dizzy.

The album was recorded for Roulette in three sessions: Tracks 1, 6, 9, 10 and 15 were recorded in NYC on January 30, 1958. Tracks 8, 9 and 12 were recorded in NYC on December 2, 1957, and the remaining tracks on October 14, 1957. This album is also included on Disc Four of a ten disc set titled Kind of Powell.
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Format: Audio CD
Bud Powell was one of the very few of the great bebop giants that could be compared to Bird in terms of genius and creativity. He was that big. Bud technique at the piano was outstanding and he was the ultimate bop pianist, the only one able to write incredible intricate melodies that can match Parker phenomenal theme. But Bird and Bud were not easy characters and they didn't love each other, probably because they both were, genius yes, but insane and dangerous people. And you know two yardbirds can't live in the same poultry house. It is commonly known that occasionally when they played together they used to fight. Two genius at the same time are one too many. But they were both genius, out of question. Unfortunately Bud did this tribute to Bird (and to Diz, if you look carefully in the program) a little too late, after his serious mental illness and electro shock "therapy". They more or less destroyed him as a musician. I mean, he's still great, men, he's Bud, but he's not Verve's Bud Powell, the one who recorded impeccable gems like Jazz Giant or The Genius of BP. After the cure he couldn't play like he used to do anymore. He's a little more mechanical in his ideas here, ideas that flow with a little more fatigue than before, ... just a little, but you can feel it. Sure a full program of Bird's gems played by Bud is something a true hipster can't lose, ... at the end of the day I still love it very much, but be prepared, on this late fifties Roulette session Bud was a little more than a shadow of the piano mother....er he used to be.
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