Bud Powell (featuring Fats Navarro): Wail




Bud Powell's Modernists


The Amazing Bud Powell, vol. 1

Buy Track


Bud Powell (piano), Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Fats Navarro (trumpet), Tommy Potter (bass), Roy Haynes (drums).

Composed by Bud Powell


Recorded: August 8, 1949


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

"Wail" is one of my favorite bebop recordings. This three minute gem has it all -- a great melody by Bud Powell (why don't more musicians play his tunes, with their great heads and blowing changes?), a hot rhythm section and a glimpse at eighteen year old tenor-titan-in-the-making Sonny Rollins. But, for me, the star of the show is trumpeter Fats Navarro. His tone is big, beautiful and brassy, and each note is hit perfectly on center even at warp speed. Navarro starts out with bugle boy purity for the opening eight bars of his solo, plays around with a clever interpolation from "I Hear Music" in the second eight, and breathes fire over the bridge before sliding safely into home plate at the turnaround. Just thirty-two bars, but every one is perfect. Less than a year later, Navarro would be dead at age 26, a victim of the combined effects of tuberculosis and drug addiction. "Wail" shows how much the jazz world lost by his untimely passing.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

Tags: · · ·

Comments are closed.