With this subtly provocative solo recital, Ted Rosenthal merges three very different streams of piano history, putting his personal stamp on all of them. He pays homage to Bill Evans with "I Loves You Porgy," "Turn out the Stars," and "Waltz for Debby," playing the last in 5/4 but reverting to 4/4 only on his second solo chorus. The Bud Powell portion is more extensive, consisting of "Tempus Fugit," "Wail," "I'll Keep Loving You," "Celia," "Parisian Thoroughfare," and, in another 5/4 interpretation, the closing "Tea for Two." Last but not least, Rosenthal unveils his improvisational approach to Beethoven with the latter two movements of the "Pathetique" sonata, as well as the third movement of "Opus 109," which inspires a full nine minutes of spirited invention. In Rosenthal's hands all this music sounds as though it sprang from the same muse, and that's the sign of a skilled, imaginative artist.
From the start of his intermittent side career as a jazz pianist, esteemed conductor and composer Andre Previn has shown more feeling for the form than most classical artists who cross over. Going beyond a recreational involvement in improvised music, he has deepened his playing since skimming stylistic surfaces on his bestselling My Fair Lady album of nearly 50 years ago. Now 78, he gives us what may be his most satisfying jazz recording in Alone: Ballads for Solo Piano. The solo format allows him to reflect his debt to piano masters including Art Tatum, Erroll Garner, and Bud Powell in ways his work with trios and combos hasn't, while showing off his super-refined lyrical touch with its sophisticated sense of color.
This album features trio performances by pianist Bud Powell, bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Roy Haynes that were recorded live at a Washington D.C. club; they were released for the first time in 1982. Powell is in consistently exciting form (this was one of his good nights) and the musicians sound inspired and creative during the set of bop-oriented standards. This recording concludes with a couple of excerpts from Bud Powell interviews held in 1963, giving listeners a rare chance to hear his voice.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. Strictly Bud Powell, in the best sense of the word – as the album's a sharp batch of trio tracks recorded for RCA in the 50s, and a great showcase for Bud's firey talents on the piano! The rhythm combo features bold work on drums from Art Taylor, alongside the bass of George Duvivier – but Powell's definitely the leading light here, as the album features some of his tremendously deft work on the keys throughout. There's a nice tension to the material – played with a strength that matches most of Bud's other work from the time – but a bit different than some of his other recordings for Verve and Blue Note. The set features 11 tracks in all – and titles include "Time Was", "Jump City", "Elegy", "Coscrane", and "Topsy Turvy".
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 1959 concert in Paris by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers has been sporadically available on various labels, but this reissue in Verve's Jazz in Paris series is the best sounding and best packaged of the lot. Blakey's group of this period (Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Jymie Merritt, and Walter Davis, Jr.) is in great form during an extended workout of Morgan's intense blues "The Midget," and Dizzy Gillespie's timeless "A Night in Tunisia" is kicked off by Blakey's an electrifying solo. But it is the addition of some special guests for the first two numbers that proves to be extra special. Bud Powell, sitting in for Davis, and French saxophonist Barney Wilen, on alto rather than his normal tenor sax, are both added to the band for inspired versions of Powell's "Dance of the Infidels" and "Bouncing with Bud." Morgan's trumpet playing is outstanding throughout the concert. This is one of the essential live dates in Art Blakey's rather extensive discography.
Sonny Stitt (2006 Japanese exclusive limited edition 17-track 'K2 High Definition Coding' CD album, originally released in 1956, also featuring Bud Powell & J.J. Johnson with THREE BONUS TRACKS, presented in mini LP-style cardsleeve reproducing the original album artwork with 'Jazz' obi-strip.) Three classic Sonny Stitt sessions from 1949-50 are heard here in full. Stitt, who had been out of action due to his "personal problems," not only made a full-fledged comeback on these dates but debuted on (and stuck exclusively to) tenor rather than playing alto, where he was being assailed as a Charlie Parker imitator.