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Bud Powell


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(1924 – 1966)

Earl Rudolph “Bud” Powell (September 27, 1924 – July 31, 1966) was one of the most influential pianists in the history of . Along with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie he was instrumental in the development of , and his virtuosity as a pianist led many to call him “the Charlie Parker of the ”.

Powell was perhaps the first pianist to vocalize on the piano, meaning that he transfered his vocalized improvisations directly through his hands to the instrument. This gave his music a deep connection to time, which is an artifact of the human voice. Previously, horn players were more likely to express their improvisations vocally, as the mouth and breath are directly tied to the performance of horn players.

Powell suffered from Bi-Polar Disorder, and in November 1947, Powell was admitted to Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, where he stayed for more than a year, receiving electroconvulsive therapy which caused severe memory loss. The young Jackie McLean and Sonny Rollins became friendly with Powell on his release from the hospital, and Powell recommended McLean to Miles Davis. However, Powell suffered from mental illness throughout his life, and had a reputation for his strange behaviour. In fact his problems, exacerbated by a beating from the police in 1945 for being disorderly, could all be attributed to being a manic depressive, although his illness was almost certainly a key driver of his immense creative talent.


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  • PeaceloveK

    Бад...Май лаф....

    4 Apr 9:12pm Reply
  • OG-Gurda

    My fav jazzman.

    11 Jan 4:27pm Reply
  • d1lll1nger


    10 Jan 11:42am Reply
  • PeaceloveK

    Genious. Simply genious. Great jazz mind of piano.

    11 Dec 2014 Reply
  • twajjo

    Too bad that decided to be a site that claimed to track the music that true music fans listened to; but they gave that up. FUCK YOU!

    15 Oct 2014 Reply
  • twajjo

    God, I wish that would track my scrobbles-- the very thing that they claim to do; but they don't. I wish I could make money from SUCKING!

    15 Oct 2014 Reply
  • PeaceloveK

    Он офигенный.♥

    11 Oct 2014 Reply
  • PeaceloveK

    Great pianist. I like his technique.

    4 Jul 2014 Reply
  • wilfredovargas

    just great pianist....

    19 Apr 2014 Reply
  • saltyknuckles

    Featured on SaltyKnuckles ~ Oldies №67 -

    7 Mar 2014 Reply
  • Cat_007


    11 Feb 2014 Reply
  • therealme27

    amazing genius!

    27 Sep 2013 Reply
  • samtfrost

    "Bud was the most brilliant that a spirit might be, a unique genius in our culture." – MAX ROACH "Bud is a genius." – CHARLIE PARKER "He laid down the basis of modern jazz piano." – DIZZY GILLESPIE "Bud is a genuine genius." – DUKE ELLINGTON

    2 Jul 2013 Reply
  • samtfrost

    "No one could play like Bud; too difficult, too quick, incredible!" – THELONIOUS MONK "If I had to choose a single musician according to his artistic merit and the originality of his creation, but also for the greatness of his work, it would be Bud Powell. Nobody could measure up to him." – BILL EVANS "He was the foundation out of which stemmed the whole edifice of modern jazz piano. Every jazz pianist since Bud either came through him or is deliberately attempting to get away from playing like him." – HERBIE HANCOCK

    2 Jul 2013 Reply
  • samtfrost

    Stalled by alcoholism, drugs, primitive mental health treatment and tuberculosis, was indeed that of the jazz musician maudit, a troubled combination of "prowess and pathos", regardless one of the twentieth century`s most beautiful and fiercely adventurous musical minds.

    2 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Fullmettall


    11 Nov 2012 Reply
  • GiaNXGX


    8 Oct 2012 Reply
  • Domin_vlc

    27 Sep 2012 Reply
  • dundee12

    So. Fucking. Good.

    25 Sep 2012 Reply
  • MrJazzyMan

    I can't get enough of his music. I want more!

    26 Jun 2012 Reply
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