Monday, May 26, 2008

Dan Cahn and Bud Powell Dreaming Cleopatra's Dream in Ein Hod

Live performance on February 2008 at Ein Hod, Israel. Dan Cahn on piano, Valerie Lipitz on contrabass and Danny Benedikt on drums.

I dream'd there was an Emperor Antony;
O, such another sleep, that I might see
Such another man!
His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm
Crested the world: his voice was propertied
As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas
That grew the more by reaping: his delights
Were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above
The element they lived in: in his livery
Walk'd crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
As plates dropp'd from his pocket

In November 1947, Powell was admitted to Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, where he stayed for more than a year, receiving electroconvulsive therapy which caused severe memory loss. The young Jackie McLean and Sonny Rollins became friendly with Powell on his release from the hospital, and Powell recommended McLean to Miles Davis. Powell suffered from mental illness throughout his life, possibly triggered by a beating by the police in 1945 after disorderly behavior. (Although he had a prior reputation for strange behaviour, the beating certainly exacerbated his problems.) He was also an alcoholic, and even small quantities of alcohol had a profound effect on his character, making him aggressive. Powell's continued rivalry with Charlie Parker, while essential to the production of brilliant music, was also the subject of disruptive feuding and bitterness on the bandstand, as a result of Powell's troubled mental and physical condition.(read more...)

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