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John H. Armwood Jazz History Lecture Nashville's Cheekwood Arts Center 1989

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Versatile Trombonist Benny Powell Dies : NPR

Versatile Trombonist Benny Powell Dies : NPR

The Count Basie Orchestra is announcing that trombonist Benny Powell has died at age 80. Powell is best known for his role in the Basie band of the 1950s and early '60s — he took a brief solo on the hit recording of "April In Paris" — but he also held spots in the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and many, many other top ensembles. He was busy as a recording studio, Broadway and television musician, and also worked with high modernist jazzmen like pianist Randy Weston and clarinetist John Carter.
I have the good fortune of meeting Benny Powell a number of times. He was a member of the pianist Randy Weston's group for at least twenty-five years. He was an extremely versatile player who was comfortable in the swing band of Count Basie to ensembles which were rooted in the avant garde. Powell had is own sound. His voice will be missed.

John H. Armwood

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