Bud’s Birthday

One of the “big” DTM cycles is Bud Powell Anthology. I’m very proud of this collection of transcriptions and opinions, they are also due for another tough edit. Here are four fresh bits and pieces that I plan to integrate in the future.

  1. I transcribed “Glass Enclosure” (Download Glass Enclosure – Score)

glass e page

2. Emmet Cohen sent me “Big Band Blues.” I thought I heard everything significant Bud recorded, but somehow missed this astounding track. Bud plays thick mysterious block chords — perhaps funkifying George Shearing? — before launching into what must be the most relentless collection of double-time lines on record before John Coltrane. Truthfully, I think Bud is “practicing,” not “performing,” on this track, but it’s still a hell of a document.


3. Red Sullivan sent me harrowing video of Bud Powell’s funeral procession.

4. A student brought in “Oblivion” the other day. I asked if they had heard Geri Allen’s version, which I included as one of the top Powell covers at the end of articles. I’ve been thinking about Keith Jarrett and bebop quite a bit, and must admit that Jarrett’s “Bouncing with Bud” with Gary Peacock and Jack Dejohnette misses the mark.  These musicians are all so great, of course, but the pianist just isn’t the right zone, and I’m not sure why.

Charlie Haden and Paul Motian are another Keith Jarrett rhythm section, and the “Oblivion” with Geri is just in the right space from all three. Amazing. Here’s the marvelous piano solo that ends with the perfect “bop judo chop” after fierce abstraction: