Matthew

Peter Pullman-- Bud Powell Biography

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The 'Buy the Book' section states:

'For those who reside elsewhere, the postal charge will change on your screen once the country of destination is entered on the form. As there's no media-mail rate for shipping to other countries, the postal service's cost is considerably higher to the rest of the world.'

Wish we could see how 'considerably higher' really is!

I went through the ordering process with a fake Credit card # just so I wouldn't get charged before I saw the shipping charge.

$15.00 to Canada; too high, nearly doubles the cost. Will wait for a better deal. I suspect it will be even higher to Europe and elsewhere.

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They use something we call We Pay, which I never heard of. Why not use Paypal?

We Pay is not difficult to use.

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Hopefully I finish the Monk bio by Kelley this weekend and can revisit the Pullman book.

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The 'Buy the Book' section states:

'For those who reside elsewhere, the postal charge will change on your screen once the country of destination is entered on the form. As there's no media-mail rate for shipping to other countries, the postal service's cost is considerably higher to the rest of the world.'

Wish we could see how 'considerably higher' really is!

I went through the ordering process with a fake Credit card # just so I wouldn't get charged before I saw the shipping charge.

$15.00 to Canada; too high, nearly doubles the cost. Will wait for a better deal. I suspect it will be even higher to Europe and elsewhere.

Tried the same but was told to enter a valid credit card # ... 15$ I guess would be okay for overseas shipping, but if it gets even higher, it's kind of ridiculous, we're talking a paperback book, right?

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What's up with the paperback? Anyone seen one? The website shows "account suspended". Still Kindle and Nook versions out there. But I really want paper.

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What's up with the paperback? Anyone seen one? The website shows "account suspended". Still Kindle and Nook versions out there. But I really want paper.

I ordered & received a paperback copy when it came out. Wonder what happened. I recall that the print run was going to be rather limited.

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I've opted to post this before reading reviews already posted. Perhaps I'll have reactions to other people's "take" in a later post.

Just wrapped up a four-day, sixteen-hour journey through Bud Powell’s life and music. I’m exhausted. This book is comprehensive in terms of recreating a near-day-by-day accounting for Powell. Board the Bud Train on page one and you’re on the express for 386 pages (not including a hundred more of notes). Like a train, it moves in almost purely chronological fashion. (Virtually no flashbacks or previews: “This would be the last time Powell played with…”.)

The book is written for music lovers. It doesn’t get into composition, theory and analysis of the music, instead focusing on whether the outcome of a session was good, bad, disjointed, et cetera. Sessions – whether in a club or recording studio – are recapped and dissected, sometimes over the course of many pages.

On the other hand, non-musical events pass in a blur. Brother Richie dies in a sentence and Mother Pearl in a footnote. I seem to recall Bird dying in there too. But these are “just the facts ma’am” events. If Bud had any reaction, one gets the feeling it isn’t covered because it can’t be documented. On the other hand, the book hints he may not have had much of a reaction to much of anything.

The notion that Powell’s life was all about the next drink is certainly the theme here, more central than I recall from previous biographies, though that may be my own repression of troubling memories.

Author Pullman has some eccentricities, though they didn’t bother me. He refers to everyone by last name, so “Buttercup” is Edwards; for the this took some getting used to because when I see “Edwards” I think “male” – whatever reason. He prefers the terms “afram” and “euram” in place of African-American (or some other variation) and European American; this usage grew on me.

All in all, a good read unless you’re looking for a sympathetic or even humanizing treatment. (Sorry if that latter term sounds harsh.)

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"BUT, this book represents a really extraordinary amount of careful, detailed historical research, including the medical and criminal records, Maxwell Cohen's legal files and countless detailed interviews with just about everyone who knew Bud."

Well, if this is true, I will definitely add it to my list of books to get.....

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There was certainly access to medical, legal, financial records far beyond anything I'd read before. And many interviews with just about everybody who was important and even remotely available after, say mid-1990s.

Another thing I found interesting is the near-equal role given to Elmo Hope as a peer, along with Monk.

Edited by BeBop

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Thanks for the link, Q. I purchased the paperback for his website.

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thinking about ordering, but I worry about Pullman's illiteracy, as I read the intro on his site, and it was nearly incoherent. And I am just as troubled that critics don't see it; a quote from the Pullman book from that review just posted:

"In January 1948, without any provocation that the psychiatrists noted, they reported that Powell erupted. "

ok - first of all "erupted" is a terrible way to describe his condition; and "provocation" - whose provocation? The psychiatrists or Bud? Did they report this even though they were not provoked into reporting it? Yeah, I know what he means but this is an amateur's mistake. Makes me think that reading this book will be too much work.


or this crap: "There were countless nights that Powell spent revolving around close colleagues and friends—and this was where creativity was in constant if elliptical motion. Of course in this closed system, when he was available, Powell was in orbit around Monk, who shone on him, and on everyone else, such intelligence that everyone tilted towards his light."

I wouldn't mind just reading the interviews, but I'm gonna save my 20 bucks; if I want headaches I'll just show up at work.

Edited by AllenLowe

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Thanks for the link, Q. I purchased the paperback for his website.

Likewise, had tried the Kindle edition, but that just does not work for me. Between the book and the new Birdland CD on Marshmallow, I am looking forward to rekindling (no pun intended) my Bud obsession over the holidays :)

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