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Bud Plays Bird (1957)

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Bud Powell

Previously unissued until 1996, this trio session by pianist Bud Powell with bassist George Duvivier and drummer Art Taylor is better than his Verve recordings of the period if not quite up to the level of his earlier classic Blue Note dates. Actually it is a mystery how such excellent music could be unknown and go unreleased for so long. Powell performs 13 Charlie Parker compositions (including two versions of "Big Foot") and Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts." Although there are some minor missteps, the music is quite enjoyable and generally hard-swinging with the more memorable performances including "Straw 'Nuff," "Yardbird Suite," "Confirmation" and "Ko Ko." ~ Scott Yanow