Monday, September 28, 2009

Matthew Shipp / Justin Desmangles exchange on Bud Powell

Happy birthday bud-
even amoung jazz pianists I don’t think the knowledge of how transendent a poetic genius bud was has sunk in. beautiful poem by ismeal reed and while looking down the page I did not realize that anita oday had died.
anyway I put my new solo cdr in mail other day-be on lookout-release date is in january but we are looking to get some really early buzz.


I have a hard time understanding the lack of understanding about Bud, I mean this guy was it! You know that solo session for Verve, 1951? Oblivion, Dusk At Sandi &c. O U T ! Or the 1961 concert in West Germany with Pettiford and Clark, man that brother is just beyond beyond . . . I have yet to hear, on records that is, anything resembling the level of intensity on Cleopatra's Dream. Those compositions on the last two dates before leaving for Paris, The Scene Changes & Time Waits are ecstatic. I mean is the guy just too mercurial? You know that story Francis Paudras tells about how he and Bud are visiting New York, this is 63, 64 as I recall, and Ornette drops by after several attempts to reach them, and tells Bud that all his music is based on the 7th's in his left hand. Dance Of The Infidels.


To answer your question about how bud gets lost in the discourse-in jazz
piano now everybody views things through a post miles prism which means
piano is viewed through the -keith-chick and herbie prism with people seeing
bill evens as the father of that.other than that now it is hip to view monk
as a weird genius-and the marketing of that idea is easy because the
name-and the persona all fit together in a way where that idea can be
marketed. So bud just becomes a bebop pianist in a lot of people's minds and
to make matters worst when people think of bebop they think of bird and diz
who are the salesman of the idea of bebop and who most people think of the
founders of it. That is a paradox considering bud was the heaviest of all of
matthew shipp


I think a lot of Bud's neglect has to do with how starkly his life story reflects the institutional injustices and systemic violence of racism in the United States and it's defining role in the historical panorama of jazz in particular. It's vivid illustrations of the role psychiatry, and so-called medicine, has played in destroying human beings, creative people in general but black men and women in particular, does little to harmonize what I call the "celebrity jazz" exemplified by the post miles prism you spoke of.

Also he, Bud, may also be quite literally too deep for the type of vulgar feeble minded revisions exemplified by say a Jarrett Trio on ECM. Too deep in it's reflection of waters, still and unstill, in the sacred wound that was so often the wellspring of his improvising, composing, joy, pains, satisfactions, refusals, acceptances. Certainly Bud's music is far too black for say a Ken Burns, who scorches and torches everything til it becomes a blanched cinder, burns jazz, burns Jack Johnson &c.

Then there are those chords! Those right hand single note runs! Defying all means of categorization, all means of ordered recognition, "these into those into these, to this and finally that" NO!

Evans once said that Bud was the only musician he heard that gave him the same sense of the profound that he recieved while listeniong to Bach. It's on the CD that came with Randi Hultin's book of a few years back.

There is also Bud's humanity, which I think also frightens people, the sense of vulnerability which refuses to enclose itself in solipsism.


I agree wholeheartedly
Ps-these are the real deep reasons-I gave you more the musician type reasons

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