The late Bill Evans, himself a powerful influence, considered all modern jazz pianists to be Bud Powell's children. Powell worked in the jazz business and played bebop. The breadth and diversity of his music defy categorization. Powell pushed music past its conventions. He stretched the boundaries of jazz beyond dance and party music. Powell did swing but his music was also for listening.
Throughout his career Powell labored under extraordinary physical and psychological burdens. He was dearly loved and is fondly remembered, although his life is generally considered to have been tragic in its path. Powell suffered from mental and physical illnesses, which resulted in self-destructive behavior. Powell gave full expression of his complexity in his writing. It's all in the music.
Powell's life story is rich in mystery and contradiction. We offer an outline of Powell's life. Acclaimed jazz writer Peter Pullman, now creating a comprehensive study of Powell's life, hopefully will provide information and insight into the life of this unique artist and his brilliant body of work.