One of the giants of the jazz piano, Bud Powell changed the way that virtually all post-swing pianists play their instruments. He did away with the left-hand striding that had been considered essential earlier and used his left hand to state chords on an irregular basis. His right often played speedy single-note lines, essentially transforming Charlie Parker's vocabulary to the piano (although he developed parallel to "Bird")…
Not released until 1979, and then under tenor saxophonist Don Byas' name, this 1997 CD reissue has pianist Bud Powell listed first as a co-leader with Byas. In any case, the music (produced by Cannonball Adderley, but certainly not a tribute to him) features Byas and Powell in a quintet with trumpeter Idrees Sulieman, bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Kenny Clarke.
Faced with the choice of any single Bud Powell date to aptly represent his intense musical genius, choosing Jazz Giant would not be a bad bet. Culled from two sessions (spring 1949 and winter 1950) this Verve release showcases the master of bebop piano leading a trio – a setting in which he excelled. With impeccable support from bassist Ray Brown and drummer Max Roach, (substitute Curly Russell for Brown on the later date), an inspired Powell roars through a varied selection of original tunes and standards. ~ AllMusic
In 1951, Bud Powell was still at the height of his considerable powers. Included here are two sessions from that year: a trio with Ray Brown and Buddy Rich (three takes of "Tea for Two" and a super-fast "Hallelujah") and eight solo piano tunes from a different date. On "Tea for Two," Rich's drumming brings out the charming show-off in Powell, and on "Hallelujah," Powell plays with a hysterical clarity. "Oblivion" and "Hallucinations" are the most masterful of the eight solo cuts. Here Powell swings effortlessly and seems to be speaking his own, true language. The elegance of another era pervades the Gershwin-esque "Parisian Thoroughfare" and "Dusk in Sandi." And one can imagine a young Bill Evans listening to "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and taking note of the rich, logical voicings coupled with a wonderful singing tone.
This set from pianist Bud Powell (which has been reissued on CD in a "complete" four-CD set) is most notable for having the debut versions of seven of Powell's compositions; most memorable are "Time Waits," "Monopoly" and especially "John's Abbey." With bassist Sam Jones and drummer Philly Joe Jones completing the trio, Powell is in surprisingly fine form throughout the enjoyable session, creating music that is far superior to his later Verve recordings. ~ AllMusic
Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell (September 27, 1924 - July 31, 1966) was an American Jazz pianist. Powell has been described as one of "the two most significant pianists of the style of modern jazz that came to be known as bop", the other being his friend and contemporary Thelonious Monk. Along with Monk, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Powell was a key player in the history of bebop, and his virtuosity as a pianist led many to call him "the Charlie Parker of the piano". ~ Amazon