Bud Powell: Wail (Alternate Take)


Wail (Alternate Take)


Bud Powell (piano)


The Amazing Bud Powell, Volume One (Blue Note B2-81503)

Buy Track


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

Composed by Bud Powell


Recorded: New York, August 8, 1949


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

Though he'd already garnered a solid swing-to-bop reputation during his stint with Lester Young, Roy Haynes's ensuing run with bebop pioneer Bud Powell largely defined his highly interactive, "snap-crackling" drumming style. Max Roach and Charlie Parker would soon both take notice and visit him during his '49 stay at the Orchid Room (with Powell and Sonny Stitt) to recruit him for the soon-open drum chair in Bird's group.

It's hard to beat the brilliant Rollins, Navarro and Powell solos from the classic master take of "Wail," but the alternate take reveals a classic Haynes performance. His startling ability to sense how a soloist will develop his statement is evident in all of the brief solos here – it's as if the drummer absorbs the player's first few lines and knows what's coming next. Also note how Haynes plays differently underneath each soloist. There is a lot going on in Rollins's statement, so Haynes pushes him along with an aggressive swing without breaking rhythm too often. For Navarro's more structured solo, Haynes predicts the trumpeter's lines and spaces, creating a déjà vu feeling that he's somehow heard this solo before.

Finally, Haynes's creative drum break, located before the band plays the final head, is one of his most exciting. He begins with a brief motive, unpacks it in the next few measures, and then concludes with a terrific run of offbeat 16th notes that begins and ends a beat earlier than you'd expect, a common "keep-them-on-their-toes" move. It's a good thing this band was filled with only the finest players – otherwise the reentrance might have completely crashed and burned!

Reviewer: Eric Novod

Tags: ·

Comments are closed.