Bud Powell – Un Poco Loco (1949)

Un Poco Loco [Alternate Take No. 2] (English translation: “A Little Crazy”) is recorded on May the 1st, 1951 and appears on the album The Amazing Bud Powell, Volume 1 from 1955.

While the song “Un Poco Loco” has been identified as musically outstanding, it has also been discussed as culturally significant. According to Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop, although Afro-Cuban jazz had been introduced in the 1940s by such artists as Dizzy Gillespie and Machito, “Un Poco Loco” is a significant marker in the establishment of this musical genre, as it revealed “the Afro-Cuban turn settling into bebop’s acceptable field of rhetorical conventions”.  More than Afro-Cuban, the authors of that book detect what they describe as a “Pan-African” musical influence in the composition’s repetition, harmony and cyclic solo that, while not as obviously Afro-international as Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia’, “certainly signaled a ‘blackness’ that became part of the language of subsequent expressions of modern jazz.” The book Jazz 101 indicates that Powell’s performances of this material in 1951 was “all the more astonishing” in its “level of creativity, and even authenticity” because little was known at the time of African music or how Latin music (aside from the Cuban influence) could be applied to jazz. According to Yanow, in Afro-Cuban Jazz: The Essential Listening Companion, this composition was Powell’s only involvement with Afro-Cuban Jazz. [source]

Personnel:  Bud Powell – Piano / Curley Russell – Double Bass / Max Roach – Drums

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