Bud Powell was still alive and playing

by Paul Burmeister

Haven't you noticed how the contemporary scene in any domain is often tough on the old lion? Bud Powell was only 38 years old when he recorded with Dexter Gordon on Our Man in Paris. Powell endured a difficult, short life; he sustained serious head injuries during a police beating when he was only 20. So in a sense Powell got old very young.
Powell's playing could be erratic and he was near the end when he recorded with Gordon in Europe. At this time in the idiom's history, Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver and Bill Evans are probably among the most well-known piano players. McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock and Andrew Hill were among other rising stars. In the 60s Powell probably wasn't placing in any readers' or critics' polls, but there is a lot to enjoy about his contributions to the Gordon date. The remastered Rudy Van Gelder Edition released in 2007 includes a piano trio playing "Like Someone in Love."