Bud Powell (1924-1966, piano) with Curly (aka Curley) Russell (bass), Max Roach (drums), “Un Poco Loco” (B. Powell), 1951
In the late 1980s, the renowned literary and cultural critic Harold Bloom included “Un Poco Loco” in his list of the most “sublime” works of twentieth-century American art (from his introduction to Modern Critical Interpretations: Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow).
other day, Oak Park, Ill.
Happy (92nd) Birthday, Mingus!
Charles Mingus, bassist, composer, bandleader
April 22, 1922-January 5, 1979
Charles Mingus Quintet (CM, bass; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; Booker Ervin, tenor saxophone; Ted Curson, trumpet; Dannie Richmond, drums) with guest Bud Powell (piano), “I’ll Remember April” (G. de Paul, P. Johnston, D. Raye), live, France (Antibes Jazz Festival), 1960
WKCR (Columbia University): all Mingus, all day.
Happy Birthday, Max!
No drummer is more clear, more precise, more melodic.
Max Roach, January 10, 1924-August 16, 2007
“The Third Eye,” liveVodpod videos no longer available.
“The Drum Also Waltzes” (Drums Unlimited), 1966Vodpod videos no longer available.
With Sonny Rollins (saxophone), “St. Thomas” (Saxophone Colossus), 1956Vodpod videos no longer available.
With Clifford Brown (trumpet), “Sweet Clifford” (Brown and Roach Incorporated), 1955Vodpod videos no longer available.
With Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Charlie Parker (saxophone), Bud Powell (piano), Charles Mingus (bass), “Salt Peanuts,” live, 1953Vodpod videos no longer available.
In this music, you have to find out who you are, what you feel, what you want to say. That’s one of the reasons that it’s so American. You have to be yourself.
That’s also one way jazz is different from classical music. In classical music, you learn to study and come up with the finest interpretation of a work that you can. That’s a different way of expressing your personality. You have to learn to use what’s written already to express yourself. In jazz, you have to learn to be who you are, and create the music from that.
—Max Roach (in Gene Santoro, Highway 61 Revisited )
Today it’s all Max all day at WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University).
For much of his life he wrestled with inner demons. Hospitalized repeatedly, he was treated with ECT (electroshock). But when he was seated at the piano, his fingers moved across the keyboard with the grace and elegance of a ballet dancer.
Bud Powell, “Anthropology,” live, Denmark (Copenhagen), 1962
Bill Evans on Bud Powell
He was so expressive, such emotion flowed out of him! There are different kinds of emotion: there is the easy, superficial kind, and there is another kind, that doesn’t make you laugh or cry, that doesn’t make you feel anything but a sense of sheer perfection. It’s a feeling we sometimes get with Beethoven. . . . It’s not that it’s beautiful in the sense of pretty or brilliant, it’s something else, something much deeper. . . . If I had to choose one single musician for his artistic integrity, for the grandeur of his work, it would be Bud Powell. He was in a class by himself.—Bill Evans (in Francis Paudras, Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell )
Sonny Rollins on Bud Powell
(The way Sonny, trying to describe Bud’s playing, shakes his head—first at around 1:35, then again at around 3:30—says more than any words could.)