Andy Laverne Trio: Bud’s Beautiful

Recorded in March of 1996, this session apparently pre-dates the release of Chick Corea’s all-star tribute record to Bud Powell, the great seminal bebop pianist. Though Andy Laverne may owe less to Bud’s pointillistic attack than Corea, he clearly has a deep appreciation for the master’s approach to form and improvisation, and a knack for finding an inspired way through Bud’s complex conceptions. Laverne here brings together his own set of all-stars-Peter Washington on bass and Billy Hart on drums add light and substance to any session-on a set of a dozen tunes, all from Powell’s pen save Laverne’s lovely title tribute. The tunes range from familiar to [undeservedly!] obscure, while avoiding such known quantities as “Parisian Thoroughfare.” Laverne’s medleys add more than a dash of intrigue to the mix: “Bouncing with Bud,” for example, merges delightfully with “Bud’s Bubble.” Great music, great trio, great concept.