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A teen-aged prodigy with Benny Goodman, pianist Mel Powell produced dazzling solos and compositions, including Goodman hits like "Mission to Moscow". Later, he teamed up with cornettist Ruby Braff, before teaching classical music at Yale. Geoffrey Smith celebrates a rare talent.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 5 May 2013 00:00

Music Played

  • Mel Powell

    'S Wonderful

    Composer: Gershwin Performers: Edmond Hall, cl; Buck Clayton, t; Henderson Chambers, tb; Steve Jordan, g; Walter Page, b; Mel Powell, p; Jimmy Crawford, d. 30 December 1953

    • Four Classic Albums Plus.
    • Avid.
    • AMSC 1063. D2, Tr. 15 (4.15).
  • Benny Goodman

    The Earl

    Composer: Powell Performers: The Benny Goodman Band 1941

    • Benny Goodman Plays Solid Gold.
    • CBS.
    • S80795. S1/3 (2.32).
  • Benny Goodman

    Mission to Moscow

    Composer: Powell Performers: Tony Faso, Jimmy Maxwell, Lawrence Stearns, t; Lou McGarity, Charlie Castaldo, tb;, Hymie Schertzer, Clint Neagley, as; Jon Walton, Leonard Sims, ts; Bob Poland, bar; Mel Powell, p; Dave Barbour, g; Cliff Hill, b; Howard Davies, d. 30 July 1942

    • Swing, Swing, Swing.
    • Retropsective.
    • RTS4414 (2); D2, Tr. 20 (2.33).
  • Benny Goodman

    The World is Waiting for the Sunrise

    Composer: Goodman Performers: Benny Goodman, cl; Mel Powell, p; Sid Weiss, b; Ralph Collier, d. 10 March 1942

    • Sounds of Jazz.
    • Fontana.
    • TFE 17079. S1/1 (2.46).
  • Benny Goodman

    Shine

    Composer: Mack, Brown, Dabney Performers: Benny Goodman, cl; Mel Powell, p; Red Norvo, vib; Mike Bryan, g; Slam Stewart, b Morey Feld, d. 1945

    • Benny Goodman Rides Again.
    • Vocalion.
    • CDUS3001 (1); Tr.20 (3.13).
  • Jazz at The Philharmonic

    Sweet Georgia Brown

    Composer: Casey, Pinkard, Bernie Performers: Dizzy Gillespie, Al Killian, tp; Charlie Parker, Willie Smith, as; Lester Young, Charlie Ventura, ts; Mel Powell, p; Billy Hadnott, b; Lee Young, d. 28 January 1946

    • Jazz at the Philharmonic: The First Ten Years.
    • Proper.
    • P1425. Tr. 7 (9.31).
  • Mel Powell

    Anything Goes

    Composer: Porter Performers: Mel Powell, p; Bumps Myers, s; Jake Porter, t; Lee Young, d; Red Callender, b. 10 December 1947

    • Four Classic Albums Plus.
    • Avid.
    • AMSC 1063. D2; Tr. 19 (2.40).
  • Mel Powell

    You're Lucky to Me

    Composer: Razaf, Blake Performers: Edmond Hall, cl; Buck Clayton, t; Henderson Chambers, tb; Steve Jordan, g; Walter Page, b; Mel Powell, p; Jimmy Crawford, d. 30 December 1953

    • Four Classic Albums Plus.
    • Avid.
    • AMSC 1063. D2, Tr. 18 (4.56).
  • Mel Powell

    Borderline

    Composer: Powell Performers: Paul Quinichette, ts; Bobby Donaldson, d; Mel Powell, p. 17 August 1954

    • Four Classic Albums Plus.
    • Avid.
    • AMSC 1063. D1, Tr. 1 (3.27).
  • Mel Powell

    You're My Thrill

    Composer: Clare, Gorney Performers: Ruby Braff, t; Bobby Donaldson, d; Mel Powell, p. 24 August 1954

    • Four Classic Albums Plus.
    • Avid.
    • AMSC 1063. D1, Tr.9 (5.19).
  • Mel Powell

    Out of Nowhere

    Composer: Green, Heyman Performers: Benny Carter, s; Mel Powell, p; Howard Alden, g; Milt Hinton, b; Louie Bellson, d. 21 October 1987

    • The Return of Mr Powell.
    • Chiaroscuro.
    • CRD301; Tr. 5 (8.30).

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