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At the Golden Circle, Vol. 1

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Album Review

Bud Powell sounds as if he enjoyed his engagement at the Golden Circle in Stockholm, Sweden. Five CDs have been released from two of his nights at the club and they find him playing in generally good form. Accompanied by a couple of local musicians (bassist Torbjorn Hultcrantz and drummer Sune Spångberg), Powell on the first volume is at his best on "Move," "Relaxin' at Camarillo" and an emotional "I Remember Clifford"; two of the other three songs are brief sketches that are under two minutes long. None of the sets are essential (the first volume clocks in at just 33 minutes) but they will easily be enjoyed by Bud Powell fans. [Steeplechase reissued At the Golden Circle, Vol. 1 on CD in 1995 and included a bonus track: a ten-plus minute read of Barney Kessel's "Swedish Pastry.".]


Born: September 27, 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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