One of jazz history’s greatest pianists, Bud Powell suffered from mental illness and heavy medication that often interfered with his playing. When he recorded this session in 1957, at age 33, his most incandescent inventions were already behind him, but what remained was a pianist of extraordinary depth, capable of the deepest blues and a rhythmic incisiveness like Thelonious Monk’s. And he was still a composer of first-rate bop lines, like “John’s Abbey” and “Time Waits,” the latter a reference to his once blazing “Tempus Fugue-it.” The rhythm section of bassist Sam Jones and drummer Philly Joe Jones is absolutely masterful at the slow and medium tempos that Powell had come to favor, with Jones often prodding the pianist into exuberance. This is the finest of Powell’s later recordings, revealing a bop pianist who paled only in comparison with his former self.
Personnel: Bud Powell (piano); Sam Jones (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums).
01. Buster Rides Again
02. Sub City
03. Time Waits
06. John’s Abbey
07. Dry Soul
08. Sub City (Alternate Take)
09. John’s Abbey (Alternate Take)