Ornithology

Bud Powell

Cafe Montmartre – 1962

 

Ornithology: the study of birds.

An apt term for a composition written by Charlie Parker.

There is no known footage of Powell playing from the 1940s.

Amazingly, this performance from the 1960s was filmed after nearly two decades of near continuous mental and physical illness.

What did other pianists say about him?

“If I had to choose a single musician according to his artistic merit and the originality of his creation, but also for the greatness of his work, it would be Bud Powell. Nobody could measure up to him.”
– Bill Evans

“No one could play like Bud; too difficult, too quick, incredible!”
– Thelonious Monk

“He was the foundation out of which stemmed the whole edifice of modern jazz piano. Every jazz pianist since Bud either came through him or is deliberately attempting to get away from playing like him.”
– Herbie Hancock

After praise like that, what else is there to say?