Benny Powell, the veteran trombonist, died last Saturday in New York. Born in New Orleans, Powell was treasured by his colleagues as a superb musician and teacher and as a gentleman who observed old-South standards of courtesy and consideration.
Among the bands that Powell graced were those of Count Basie, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Bill Holman, Benny Goodman, Duke Pearson and Terry Gibbs. Here he is playing the blues in the company of a few of his admiring colleagues: Dizzy Gillespie and Harry “Sweets” Edison (tp), Clark Terry (flh), James Moody and Buddy Tate (ts), Gene Harris (p), Freddie Green (g), Ray Brown (b), Grady Tate (d). Powell has the first solo in this excerpt from a festival in Switzerland in 1985.
Go here for a video montage that captures Benny Powell in several of his roles. DevraDoWrite has news of plans for his services.
John Birchard says
Close, but no cigar. YouTube’s video of Benny Powell, Gene Harris and the all-star cast (including the greatest rhythm guitarist of all time, Freddie Greene) is excellent – but misnamed. If I’m not mistaken, the tune is “Blues Walk” by Clifford Brown, not “Loose Walk.”
Vice President of Nitpickers International
(Mr. Birchard is not mistakenDR)
Bill Kirchner says
As the old TV commercial said, “Stop, you’re both right.” According to Ira Gitler’s liner notes for Dexter Gordon’s THE PANTHER (Prestige/OJC), the tune was recorded by Sonny Stitt as “Loose Walk”. And by Brown/Roach and Gordon as “The Blues Walk”.
Greg Camphire says
mr. powell was also a member of randy weston’s african rhythms band for more than 20 years. another griot gone from the earth, RIP.