Bud Powell

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Bud Powell_table_infobox_0

Bud PowellBud Powell_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationBud Powell_header_cell_0_1_0
Birth nameBud Powell_header_cell_0_2_0 Earl Rudolph PowellBud Powell_cell_0_2_1
BornBud Powell_header_cell_0_3_0 (1924-09-27)September 27, 1924

Harlem, New York, U.S.Bud Powell_cell_0_3_1

DiedBud Powell_header_cell_0_4_0 July 31, 1966(1966-07-31) (aged 41)

New York City, New York, U.S.Bud Powell_cell_0_4_1

GenresBud Powell_header_cell_0_5_0 Jazz, bebopBud Powell_cell_0_5_1
Occupation(s)Bud Powell_header_cell_0_6_0 MusicianBud Powell_cell_0_6_1
InstrumentsBud Powell_header_cell_0_7_0 PianoBud Powell_cell_0_7_1
Years activeBud Powell_header_cell_0_8_0 1944–1965Bud Powell_cell_0_8_1
LabelsBud Powell_header_cell_0_9_0 Roost, Blue Note, Mercury, Norgran, Clef, VerveBud Powell_cell_0_9_1
Associated actsBud Powell_header_cell_0_10_0 Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Charles Mingus, Sonny RollinsBud Powell_cell_0_10_1

Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell (September 27, 1924 – July 31, 1966) was an American jazz pianist and composer. Bud Powell_sentence_0

Along with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie, Powell was a leading figure in the development of bebop. Bud Powell_sentence_1

His virtuosity led many to call him the Charlie Parker of the piano. Bud Powell_sentence_2

Powell was also a composer, and many jazz critics credit his works and his playing as having "greatly extended the range of jazz harmony." Bud Powell_sentence_3

Life and career Bud Powell_section_0

Early life Bud Powell_section_1

Powell's father was a stride pianist. Bud Powell_sentence_4

Powell started classical piano lessons at the age of five. Bud Powell_sentence_5

His teacher, hired by his father, was a West Indian man named Rawlins. Bud Powell_sentence_6

At ten, Powell showed interest in the swing music that could be heard all over the neighborhood. Bud Powell_sentence_7

He first appeared in public at a rent party, where he mimicked Fats Waller's playing style. Bud Powell_sentence_8

The first jazz composition that he mastered was James P. Johnson's "Carolina Shout". Bud Powell_sentence_9

Powell's older brother, William, played trumpet and violin, and by the age of 15 Powell was playing in William's band. Bud Powell_sentence_10

Powell heard Art Tatum on the radio and tried to match his technique. Bud Powell_sentence_11

Powell's younger brother, Richie Powell, was also a noted bebop pianist. Bud Powell_sentence_12

Early to mid-1940s Bud Powell_section_2

In his youth Powell listened to the adventurous performances at Uptown House, a venue near his home. Bud Powell_sentence_13

This was where Charlie Parker first appeared as a solo act when he briefly lived in New York. Bud Powell_sentence_14

Thelonious Monk played at Uptown House. Bud Powell_sentence_15

When Monk met Powell he introduced Powell to musicians who were starting to play bebop at Minton's Playhouse. Bud Powell_sentence_16

Monk was a resident pianist, and he presented Powell as his protégé. Bud Powell_sentence_17

Their mutual affection grew, and Monk became Powell's greatest mentor. Bud Powell_sentence_18

Powell eagerly experimented with Monk's idea. Bud Powell_sentence_19

Monk's composition "In Walked Bud" is a tribute to their time together in Harlem. Bud Powell_sentence_20

Powell was engaged in a series of dance bands, his incubation culminating in becoming the pianist for the swing orchestra of Cootie Williams. Bud Powell_sentence_21

In late 1943 he was offered the chance to appear at a nightclub with the quintet of Oscar Pettiford and Dizzy Gillespie, but Powell's mother decided he would continue with the more secure job with the popular Williams. Bud Powell_sentence_22

Powell was the pianist on a handful of Williams's recording dates in 1944. Bud Powell_sentence_23

The last included the first recording of Monk's "'Round Midnight". Bud Powell_sentence_24

His job with Williams was terminated in Philadelphia in January 1945. Bud Powell_sentence_25

After the band finished for the night, Powell wandered near Broad Street Station and was apprehended, drunk, by the private railroad police. Bud Powell_sentence_26

He was beaten by them and incarcerated briefly by the city police. Bud Powell_sentence_27

Ten days after his release, his headaches persisted and he was hospitalized at Bellevue, an observation ward, and then in a state psychiatric hospital sixty miles away. Bud Powell_sentence_28

He remained there for two and a half months. Bud Powell_sentence_29

Powell resumed playing in Manhattan after released. Bud Powell_sentence_30

In 1945–46 he recorded with Frank Socolow, Sarah Vaughan, Dexter Gordon, J. Bud Powell_sentence_31 J. Johnson, Sonny Stitt, Fats Navarro, and Kenny Clarke. Bud Powell_sentence_32

Powell became known for his sight-reading and his skill at fast tempos. Bud Powell_sentence_33

On January 10, 1947, Powell recorded his first session as a leader, which included 8 pieces for De Luxe Records with Max Roach and Curly Russell as accompanists. Bud Powell_sentence_34

The recordings were unreleased until 1949, when Roost Records bought the masters and released them on a series of 78 rpm records. Bud Powell_sentence_35

Musicologist Guthrie Ramsey wrote of the session that "Powell proves himself the equal of any of the other beboppers in technique, versatility, and feeling." Bud Powell_sentence_36

Charlie Parker chose Powell to be his pianist on a May 1947 quintet recording session with Miles Davis, Tommy Potter, and Max Roach; this was the only studio session in which Parker and Powell played together. Bud Powell_sentence_37

Hospitalization (1947–1948) Bud Powell_section_3

The Parker session aside, Powell performed on two other records and seldom appeared at nightclubs in 1947. Bud Powell_sentence_38

In November, he had an altercation with a customer at a bar in Harlem. Bud Powell_sentence_39

In the ensuing fight, Powell was hit over his eye with a bottle. Bud Powell_sentence_40

When the staff at Harlem Hospital found him incoherent and rambunctious, they sent him to Bellevue, which had a record of his previous confinements. Bud Powell_sentence_41

He was sent to Creedmoor State Hospital, where he spent eleven months. Bud Powell_sentence_42

Powell adjusted to being in the hospital, though in psychiatric interviews he expressed feelings of persecution founded in racism. Bud Powell_sentence_43

From February to April 1948, he received electroconvulsive therapy after an outburst which may have been prompted by learning from his girlfriend that she was pregnant with their child. Bud Powell_sentence_44

The electroconvulsive therapy was considered ineffective, so the doctors gave him a second series of treatments in May. Bud Powell_sentence_45

He was released in October 1948. Bud Powell_sentence_46

Solo and trio recordings (1949–1958) Bud Powell_section_4

After a brief hospitalization in early 1949, Powell made several recordings, most of them for Blue Note, Mercury, Norgran, and Clef. Bud Powell_sentence_47

The first Blue Note session in August 1949 included Fats Navarro, Sonny Rollins, Tommy Potter and Roy Haynes, and the compositions "Bouncing with Bud" and "Dance of the Infidels". Bud Powell_sentence_48

The second Blue Note session in 1951 was a trio with Curley Russell and Max Roach and included "Parisian Thoroughfare" and "Un Poco Loco". Bud Powell_sentence_49

The latter was selected by literary critic Harold Bloom for his short list of the greatest works of twentieth-century American art. Bud Powell_sentence_50

Sessions for Granz included Ray Brown, George Duvivier, Percy Heath, Roach, Russell, Lloyd Trotman, Art Blakey, Kenny Clarke, Osie Johnson, Buddy Rich, and Art Taylor. Bud Powell_sentence_51

Powell's rivalry with Parker led to feuding and bitterness on the bandstand. Bud Powell_sentence_52

Contributing factors were Powell's worsening mental and physical health. Bud Powell_sentence_53

Powell recorded for Blue Note and Granz throughout the 1950s, interrupted by another stay in a mental hospital from late 1951 to early 1953 after being arrested for possession of marijuana. Bud Powell_sentence_54

He was released into the guardianship of Oscar Goodstein, owner of the Birdland nightclub. Bud Powell_sentence_55

A 1953 trio session for Blue Note with Duvivier and Taylor included Powell's composition "Glass Enclosure", inspired by his near-imprisonment in Goodstein's apartment. Bud Powell_sentence_56

On May 15, 1953 he played at Massey Hall in Toronto with the quintet, including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach. Bud Powell_sentence_57

The performance was recorded and released by Debut Records as the album Jazz at Massey Hall. Bud Powell_sentence_58

After being released from the hospital, his piano playing was negatively affected by the Largactil he was taking as treatment for schizophrenia. Bud Powell_sentence_59

In 1956 his brother Richie Powell and trumpeter Clifford Brown were killed in a car crash. Bud Powell_sentence_60

Paris (1959–1963) Bud Powell_section_5

After several more periods in the hospital, Powell moved to Paris in 1959 with Altevia "Buttercup" Edwards, whom he had met after an incarceration in 1954. Bud Powell_sentence_61

The couple moved into the Hotel La Louisiane. Bud Powell_sentence_62

She managed his finances and his medicine. Bud Powell_sentence_63

Powell continued to perform and record. Bud Powell_sentence_64

Last years (1964–1966) Bud Powell_section_6

In 1963, Powell contracted tuberculosis. Bud Powell_sentence_65

During the next year, he returned to New York to perform at Birdland with drummer Horace Arnold and bassist John Ore. Bud Powell_sentence_66

His performances during these years were adversely affected by his alcoholism. Bud Powell_sentence_67

His emotions became unbalanced, and he was hospitalized in New York after months of erratic behavior and self-neglect. Bud Powell_sentence_68

On July 31, 1966, he died of tuberculosis, malnutrition, and alcoholism. Bud Powell_sentence_69

Music Bud Powell_section_7

Development Bud Powell_section_8

Bud Powell was influenced primarily by Thelonious Monk and Art Tatum. Bud Powell_sentence_70

Improvisation and comping Bud Powell_section_9

His solos imitated the attack of horn players, contained frequent arpeggios, and utilized much chromaticism. Bud Powell_sentence_71

According to author Alan Morrison, "Powell freed the right hand for continuous linear exploration at the expense of developing the left." Bud Powell_sentence_72

His comping often consisted of single bass notes outlining the root and fifth. Bud Powell_sentence_73

He used voicings of the root and the tenth or the root with the minor seventh. Bud Powell_sentence_74

Reception and influence Bud Powell_section_10

Miles Davis in his autobiography said of Powell: "[He] was one of the few musicians I knew who could play, write, and read all kinds of music." Bud Powell_sentence_75

"Bud was a genius piano player–the best there was of all the bebop piano players." Bud Powell_sentence_76

In 1986 Francis Paudras wrote a book about his friendship with Powell, translated into English in 1997 as Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell. Bud Powell_sentence_77

The book was the basis for Round Midnight, a film inspired by the lives of Powell and Lester Young, in which Dexter Gordon played the lead role of an expatriate jazzman in Paris. Bud Powell_sentence_78

In February 2012 a biography titled Wail: The Life of Bud Powell by Peter Pullman was released as an ebook. Bud Powell_sentence_79

Powell influenced countless younger musicians, especially pianists. Bud Powell_sentence_80

These included Horace Silver, Wynton Kelly, Andre Previn, McCoy Tyner, Cedar Walton, and Chick Corea. Bud Powell_sentence_81

Corea debuted a song called "Bud Powell" on his live album with Gary Burton, In Concert, Zürich, October 28, 1979, and in 1997 dedicated an entire album, Remembering Bud Powell to him. Bud Powell_sentence_82

Bill Evans, who described Powell as his single greatest influence, paid the pianist a tribute in 1979: "If I had to choose one single musician for his artistic integrity, for the incomparable originality of his creation and the grandeur of his work, it would be Bud Powell. Bud Powell_sentence_83

He was in a class by himself". Bud Powell_sentence_84

Herbie Hancock said of Powell, in a Down Beat magazine interview in 1966: "He was the foundation out of which stemmed the whole edifice of modern jazz piano". Bud Powell_sentence_85

Jazz pianist Bill Cunliffe said Powell was "the first pianist to take Charlie Parker's language and adapt it successfully to the piano." Bud Powell_sentence_86

This was, in part, due to his desire to see the pianist get the adulation usually reserved for the saxophonist or trumpeter. Bud Powell_sentence_87

The drummer Art Taylor, who is listed among the personnel on about a dozen Powell recordings, elicited comments concerning Powell from numerous musicians in his book of interviews, Notes and Tones. Bud Powell_sentence_88

Among the comments were these: Bud Powell_sentence_89

Bud Powell_unordered_list_0

  • Art Blakey: "I think there was a time when Bud Powell was playing more than Charlie Parker."Bud Powell_item_0_0
  • Don Cherry: "Bud... could play the same thing differently each time."Bud Powell_item_0_1
  • Kenny Clarke: "An exceptional musician."Bud Powell_item_0_2
  • Erroll Garner: "Bud was the second greatest thing to Art Tatum... Bud was a genius on the piano."Bud Powell_item_0_3
  • Hampton Hawes: "Bud Powell was the greatest be-bop piano player in the world. Nobody could phrase like him."Bud Powell_item_0_4
  • Freddie Hubbard: "To me, they [Bud Powell and Dizzy Gillespie were true geniuses to create something that spontaneous."Bud Powell_item_0_5
  • Elvin Jones: "I always had the impression that Bud had been hurt so much. He was like a very delicate piece of china. I think he was an extremely sensitive person, a very beautiful person. He was really nice, and I loved him. I thought he was a genius in what he was doing. His ideas about modern music were revolutionary. There are very few pianists even now who have approached the level of proficiency which Bud Powell attained and consistently maintained. He's one of the masters."Bud Powell_item_0_6
  • Carmen McRae: "He was a phenomenal pianist, a cat whose potential never really got where it could have gotten to. I think our way of American life has a lot to do with it."Bud Powell_item_0_7
  • Max Roach: "Bud Powell played a major part in my development."Bud Powell_item_0_8
  • Sonny Rollins: "In my opinion, Bud was a genius just like Bird. They were untouchable as far as their musicianship was concerned. They could do no wrong in anything they did..."Bud Powell_item_0_9
  • Randy Weston: "Without a doubt he is one of our leaders."Bud Powell_item_0_10
  • Tony Williams: "I wish I had been born earlier because of that whole period with Bud and Bird."Bud Powell_item_0_11

Discography Bud Powell_section_11

Main article: Bud Powell discography Bud Powell_sentence_90


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bud Powell.