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Gigging in Europe 1959 and 1962

Bud Powell and friends

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When giants roamed the earth


This footage collects three separate rare performances by Bud Powell during his time living in Europe.

It starts with a 1959 set at Club St. Germaine in Paris.

Clark Terry and saxophonist Barney Wilen join his regular trio consisting of bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Kenny Clarke.

Later the same year at the Blue Note in Paris Powell's trio is accompanied by tenor saxophonist Lucky Thompson and guitarist Jimmy Gourley.

The 1962 selections from Cafe Montmartre in Copenhagen features the pianist with the teenaged but accomplished bassist Niels-Henning ěrsted Pedersen and drummer Jorn Elniff.

The history of jazz is so full of tragedy and Powell's story is heartbreaking, but here he is in spite of grave neurological problems initiated by a savage and unprovoked beating at the hands a New York City police officer working miracles at the keyboard. No speculations about "what might have been" just the reality of what was when that undeniable light shone through the darkness.

Try to recreate some of the simple-sounding lines he spun off with such ease and you'll get a glimmer how deep his music goes.



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