Bud Powell – The Essen Jazz Festival Concert (1960)

FrontCover1This concert is from 2nd April 1960 and features Bud Powell. Powell was a little past his best by 1960. He had mental health problems and could be erratic. However in this concert he is on sparkling form in places. You have to be good to play ‘Shaw Nuff’ at the tempo these guys are playing at. With Bud Powell is Oscar Pettiford on Bass and Kenny Clarke on drums. So you have a trio that has three of the greats on their respective instruments.

Only two parts of the Essen concert were recorded that day. Amongst others playing who were not recorded were Dave Brubeck and the Quincy Jones Orchestra. Fortunately for us the tapes were rolling when Coleman Hawkins joined the Trio for ‘All the things you are’, ‘Just You Just Me’, Yesterdays, and ‘Stuffy’. Hawkins is in imperious form and combined with the one-off combination off musicians it makes this recording well worth getting.

BudPowellThe sound quality for a 55 year old live recording is pretty good, but don’t expect modern studio quality. It seems to be deleted or expensive to get these days, so a lot will depend on how serious a Jazz collector you are. (by S J Buck)

Pianist Bud Powell is heard in top form throughout this CD, playing six selections with his all-star trio (which also includes bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Kenny Clarke) and three songs on which the trio is joined by the great tenor Coleman Hawkins. There is plenty of classic bebop throughout the concert performance with Powell mostly sticking to standards (along with his original “John’s Abbey”); Hawkins is best on “Stuffy.” This release is recommended as a fine example of the playing of these classic masters. (by Scott Yanow)

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Kenny Clark (drums)
Oscar Pettiford (bass)
Bud Powell (piano)
Coleman Hawkins (saxophone on 06. – 9.)

01. Shaw ‘Nuff (Parker/Gillespie) 4.33
02. Blues In The Closet (Babasin/Pettiford) 5.17
03. Willow Weep For Me (Ronell) 4.13
04. John’s Abbey (Powell) 3.35
05. Salt Peanuts (Parker/Gillespie) 3.48
06. All The Things You Are (Kern/Hammerstein) 8.01
07. Just You, Just Me (Greer/Klages) 5.50
08. Yesterdays (Kern/Harbach) 6.47
09. Stuffy (Hawkins) 7.37


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Bud Powell – Live In Geneva (1962)

FrontCover1Bop till you drop… “Bud Powell was a leading figure in the development of bebop, and his virtuosity as a pianist led many to call him the Charlie Parker of the piano.”

Bud Powell is the most important pianist in jazz and one of the most underrated because he spent over a third of his life in mental and medical hospitals. He was beaten by the police when he was 20 and he never fully recovered from that beating and, as a result, he suffered pain and had to take drugs to alleviate the pain. So he never fully recovered from that and, in spite of that, he created a whole lot of wonderful music. He was really the first guy, before Bud Powell, pianists were playing boom, chuck in the left hand and a lot of melodic figures in the right hand that tended to be arpeggios. But with Bud Powell, Bud Powell was imitating Charlie Parker. So Bud was the first pianist to take Charlie Parker’s language and adapt it successfully to the piano. That’s why he is the most important pianist in music today because everybody plays like that now. (by Bill Cunliffe)

This was an informal concert at a nightclub in Geneva called the Hot Club. The best of this numbers stand among Bud’s best recordings from any period. Bud must have been enjoying rare good health at the time of this Swiss session. The up-tempo numbers are played at top speed and, as if to show that the master is back, Bud includes many glittering runs.” (Carl Smith from the book “Bouncing with Bud: The Recordings of Bud Powell”)

Thanks to the original uploaders; and to mikey_ikey for sharing the tracks at Dime.

Recorded live at the Blue Note, Geneva, Switzerland; February 1, 1962
Good to very good radio broadcasts

BudPowell02Illustration: Judith Cameron

Jacques Cavussin (drums)
Michel Cortesi (bass)
Earl “Bud” Powell (piano)

01. Ornithology (Harris/Parker) 2.59
02. Swedish Pastry (Kessel) 8.05
03. Hot House Hot House (Dameron) 6.54
04. I Remember Clifford (Golson/Hendricks) 5.35
05. Just One Of Those Things (Porter) 6.00
06. Anthropology (Gillespie/Parker) 7.06
07. ‘Round Midnight (Hanighen/Monk/Williams) 6.21
08. Jordu (Jordan) 7.17
09. I Know That You Know (Caldwell/Youmans) 4.53
10. Blues In The Closet (Pettiford) 7.08


Over 40 years after his death, it is surprising that previously unknown live recordings by Bud Powell are still being uncovered. This concert in Geneva, probably with two local musicians who were likely playing a gig with the pianist for the first and only time in their careers, finds the pianist in good form. The recording quality is only slightly muddy and over-modulated, though the music is enjoyable. In spite of using unfamiliar players, Powell is quite comfortable playing extended versions of a number of bop favorites, including “Hot House,” “Jordu,” and his own “Swedish Pastry.” (by Ken Dryden)


René Urtréger – Jou Bud Powell (1955)

FrontCover1René Urtreger (born July 6, 1934) is a French bebop pianist.

Urtreger was born in Paris and began his piano studies at the age of four, studying privately first, and then at the Conservatory. He studied with an orientation toward jazz, playing in a small Parisian club, the “Sully d’ Auteil.” Conducted by Hubert Damisch, the Sully boasted an orchestra of talented students including Sacha Distel and Louis Viale.

In 1953, he won first prize in a piano contest for amateurs, and from that moment decided to be a professional musician. In 1954, he accompanied in a Parisian concert two great American expatriates: saxophonist Don Byas and trumpeter Buck Clayton. Their collaboration in the “Salon du Jazz” became one of the most highly-requested French performances by the American musicians that toured the French capital.

After serving in the military from 1955 to 1957, Urtreger would play in a club on the left bank of the Seine, the famous Club Saint-Germain. Again he collaborated with two jazz masters: Miles Davis and Lester Young. His work so impressed the latter that Urteger accompanied Young for a short tour of Europe in 1956. In December 1957, he was part of Davis’s group which recorded the soundtrack to the film Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows).

In the late 1950s he worked with the likes of Lionel Hampton, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins and Ben Webster among others. Shortly thereafter, he broadened his focus to accompany other artists of other genres, largely due to financial necessity. His canon of jazz work is still widely regarded as sensitive with a full, dense sound of swing. The Academie du Jazz of France formally recognized his accomplishments in 1961 with the Django Reinhardt prize for outstanding jazz artist of the year.

He subsequently provided soundtracks for films by Claude Berri among others.

In 1977, he reappeared on the Paris jazz scene with the intention to resume his career. His renaissance was as a small-ensemble accompanist, with Lee Konitz, Aldo Romano or Barney Wilen. His 1980 performance at the Antibes Jazz Festival was an important performance of his later career. He was also featured at “Le Jazz Cool, Le Jazz Hot: A Celebration of Modern Jazz in Los Angeles and France” at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles (November 2007).

In an interview, Urtreger said “Jazz is supposed to be a music of improvisation, of madness”. (by wikipedia).

This is his debut album: René Urtréger recorded his own tributes to jazz pianist Bud Powell in February 1955 in Paris. The tracks first appeared on Urtréger’s 10-inch album for the Barclay label entitled Joue Bud Powell (“Plays Bud Powell”). And it´s really a great album, recorded in the spirit of Bud Powell !

Benoit Quersin (bass)
René Urtreger (piano)
Jean-Louis Viale (drums)

01. Dance Of The Infidels (Powell) 3.08
02. Budo (Powell) 3.17
03. Parisian Thoroughfare (Powell) 3.37
04. So Sorry Please (Powell) 3.07
05. Bouncing With Bud (Powell) 2.45
06. À La Bud (Urtréger) 2.12
07. Mercedes (Urtréger)  3.04
08. Celia (Powell) 2.56