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Strictly Powell

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Album Review

Bud Powell's two dates for RCA in 1956-1957 are better than expected. Although troubled, Powell actually plays better on Strictly Powell than on his Verve dates of the period. Backed by bassist George Duvivier and drummer Art Taylor, the pianist is heard in fine form during a program of mostly mid-tempo and slower performances, particularly on "There'll Never Be Another You," "Time Was," "They Didn't Believe Me" and five of his originals. Bud Powell collectors already owning his classic Blue Note dates should give this music a listen. [There are no extra cuts on the LP-length CD reissued in 2004.]


Born: 27 September 1924 in Harlem, New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s

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"). Tragically, Bud Powell was a seriously ill genius. After being encouraged...
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