Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Bud Powell moved to Paris, France at the end of March 1959. By year's end, Bud, drummer Kenny Clarke and bassist Pierre Michelot teamed up for a two-year residency, occasionally joined by famous guests passing through town. Producer Alan Douglas recorded them in 1961, capturing a typical trio set of standards and bebop favorites. Earlier in the year, saxophonist Zoot Sims was captured sitting in. Powell's post-1953 work can be erratic, but sometimes, as in these concerts, he had good nights, and the greater expressiveness of his later years has its own attractions.
Down Beat (p.88) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his intense eight-tune recital in autumn 1962 by Powell's superb Paris trio finds Powell following the line with abandon and lucidity."
Personnel: Bud Powell (piano), Pierre Michelot (bass), Kenny Clarke (percussion).
Personnel: Bud Powell (piano); Kenny Clarke (drums).
Liner Note Author: Steve Holdje.
Recording information: The Blue Note Café, Paris (1961).
One of the premiere architects of bebop, Bud Powell had long disappeared from the spotlight by the early 1960s, largely due to his mental illness. Yet one would never know the difficulties Powell suffered from listening to LIVE AT THE BLUE NOTE CAFÉ, PARIS 1961. The set finds Powell in fine form, leading a tight trio through an exuberant set, and peeling off superior, agile piano solos all the while.
Drummer Kenny Clarke and bassist Pierre Michelot add supple rhythmic support, but this is Powell's show through and through. The repertoire includes jazz standards, among them "Lover Man" and "There Will Never Be Another You," as well as a number of tunes by Thelonious Monk, including "'Round Midnight." Playful, lyrical, and technically impressive, Powell hadn't lost any of his verve even at this late date (he died a few years after this recording).