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Bud Powell

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September 27, 1924 - July 31, 1966


The "Bud Powell Trio" perform at the Blue Note in Paris in 1959.


Bud Powell, piano
Pierre Michelot, bass
Kenny Clarke, drums

Born in September 1924, Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell was grew up in Harlem where he began classical training on the piano when he was five encouraged by his father who was a stride pianist and first became interested in jazz at the age of ten.

Around 1942 he met Thelonious Monk who was performing at Milton's Playhouse at the time and the older pianist introduced Powell to the early group of bebop musicians who had begun to congregate there.

The young pianist soon became his protégé, to whom Monk dedicated his composition "In Walked Bud".

Bud toured with Cootie Williams and appeared on a number of his Orchestra's recordings in 1944, advancing in his career in May 1947 when he was selected to join the "Charlie Parker Quintet" featuring Miles Davis, Tommy Potter, and Max Roach.

Throughout his career Powell suffered from bouts of mental illness resulting in numerous stints in mental institutions beginning with a mid-1940s hospitalization in Bellevue.

Bud Powell would produce his best recordings between 1949 and 1953 released on the Blue Note, Clef, and Mercury labels.

Astonishingly, at the time of this recording Powell was in declining health as the result of a vicious attack at the hands of a policeman.

Powell had been struck in the head with a club when he attempted to intervene in a dispute between the police and Thelonious Monk backstage at a New York club.

After contracting tuberculosis in 1963 Bud Powell died from the illness on July 31, 1966.

"If I had to choose a single musician according to his artistic merit and the originality of his creation, but also for the greatness of his work, it would be Bud Powell. Nobody could measure up to him." – BILL EVANS

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