Monday, August 15, 2011

Bud Powell - A Portrait of Thelonious

This CD reissue is one of the most rewarding Bud Powell recordings to come from his period in France. Powell (along with bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Kenny Clarke) explores four of Thelonious Monk's tunes, Earl Bostic's "No Name Blues" and the standard "There Will Never Be Another You" but it is the final two numbers ("I Ain't Foolin'" and "Squatty") which really find the bop master at his most spirited and swinging. This very rewarding CD releases for the first time the alternate take (a faster rendition without a clear melody) of "Squatty," a song that (based on its original version) deserves to be revived. One oddity: the applause heard throughout this release was added on later because this was actually a studio album. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

I first bought this because I wanted to know more about Powell and Monk. I have never been disappointed listening to this and loved it more with each listening. The Monk pieces convinced me to buy everything of his I could lay my hands on but I also reached back to Powell's early albums and one of his last, "Bud Powell in Paris" a few years after this one, produced by Duke Ellington, on Reprise. The best moment I had with this album was sharing it with a college music class. While one jerk kept wondering why people applauded after each tune (to classical purists you never applaud until the end of a concert, not after each piece) the rest discussed how Powell's style cut across classical lines and it encouraged more jazz listening. Not a year has gone by that I haven't played this album so if you don't know bebop or Monk or Powell, this is a great introduction to all. - by Stephen Swain,

Artist: Bud Powell
Album: A Portrait of Thelonious
Year: 1961
Label: Columbia (20-bit remastered, 1997)
Total time: 47:25

1.  Off Minor (Thelonious Monk) 5:21
2.  There Will Never Be Another You (Mack Gordon/Harry Warren) 4:20
3.  Ruby, My Dear (Thelonious Monk) 5:49
4.  No Name Blues (Earl Bostic) 6:39
5.  Thelonious (Thelonious Monk) 3:48
6.  Monk's Mood (Thelonious Monk) 7:08
7.  I Ain't Foolin' (Charles Albertine) 3:21
8.  Squatty (Brian Fahey) 5:50
9.  Squatty (Alternate Take) (Brian Fahey) 5:06

Bud Powell (Piano)
Pierre Michelot (Double Bass)
Kenny Clarke (Drums)



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