Bud Powell: Live in Geneva, 1962

Album review
Bud Powell: Live in Geneva, 1962

Bud Powell

Live in Geneva, 1962

Label: Gambit
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz

Bud Powell is often described as the man who first adopted Charlie Parker’s style to the piano, but this is simplistic. Parker didn’t invent modern jazz on his own: he was, rather, the central figure in the bebop revolution of the early 1940's, with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Christian, Powell and others also contributing. Bud was something of a boy wonder at that point, then really came into his own as the new music solidified in the late 40s. But Powell was plagued by mental problems exacerbated by a beating at the hands of police, and his output became erratic as the 1950's progressed. As a result, many listeners give short shrift to his later recordings, but this is a huge mistake, and no record shows why more clearly than Live in Geneva. Recorded in 1962, when Bud was living in Paris and enjoying a limited sort of renaissance, it captures the pianist at the peak of his abilities. The instrument in use is wanting, and the bassist and drummer don’t do much besides keep time, but Bud makes us forget such details, pouring out chorus after chorus of perfectly conceived, brilliantly executed melody. Free from the time constraints of the 78rpm era of his salad days, Powell’s powers of spontaneous composition seem truly limitless. Not to be missed. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Bud Powell
  • CD

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