Bud Powell in the 21st Century

New album out today on Sunnyside Records! (Bandcamp.) This is concert performance of a suite commissioned by the Umbria Jazz Festival. The Umbria Jazz Orchestra is augmented by Ingrid Jensen, Dayna Stephens, Ben Street, Lewis Nash, and myself.

Review by Brian Priestley in Jazzwise.

Review by Filipe Freitas in JazzTrail. “….A record that, sealed with Iverson’s unique creativity, opens up a glorious new phase in his career.”

Interview about the album conducted by Tryan Grillo.

TG: How would you describe your relationship to Powell’s music? 

EI: I like knowing the text. When The Bad Plus played The Rite of Spring, I played it just like Stravinsky wrote it. If I play Tadd Dameron with [drummer Albert] “Tootie” Heath, I learn Dameron’s original voicings. At one point I transcribed Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” for The Bad Plus. My brain gets really excited by the details. I like to sit there and ask myself what really happened here. I can dive in, think about those details, transcribe and appreciate the subtleties. 

There’s also this other side of creativity. I’m confident everything I do has a personal sound, that it sounds like me and part of that sound is wild and woolly. The fantastical or surreal comes in pretty naturally with Bud. At the end of the day, Bud Powell was an avant garde musician. Had the project been dedicated to the music of Dizzy Gillespie or Benny Golson, it might have been harder to find a way in to do something personal. But there’s a surreal glint in Bud Powell’s eye, so that’s a fit for me as well.