Benny Powell

Benny Powell

born on 1/3/1930 in New Orleans, LA, United States

died on 26/6/2010 in Manhattan, NY, United States

Benny Powell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Benny Powell (March 1, 1930 June 26, 2010) was an African-American jazz trombonist. He played both standard (tenor) trombone and bass trombone.[1][2]


Born Benjamin Gordon Powell Jr in New Orleans, Louisiana, he first played professionally at the age of 14, and at 18 began playing with Lionel Hampton. In 1951 he left Hampton's band and began playing with Count Basie, in whose orchestra he would remain until 1963. Powell takes the trombone solo in the bridge of Basie's 1955 recording of "April in Paris".[3]

After leaving Basie, he freelanced in New York City. From 1966 to 1970 he was a member of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, playing on Monday nights at the Village Vanguard. Among other engagements, he played in the house band of the Merv Griffin Show, and when the show moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1970 Powell also relocated there. He did extensive work as a session musician, including with Abdullah Ibrahim, John Carter, and Randy Weston. Later in his career Powell worked as an educator, including as part of the Jazzmobile project. Having moved back to New York in the 1980s, he began teaching at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in 1994.

He died in a Manhattan hospital at the age of 80, following back surgery.


As leader

  • Coast to Coast (Trident Records, 1982)
  • The Gift of Love (Faith Records, 2003)
  • Nextep (Origin Records, 2008)

As sideman

With Gene Ammons

  • Free Again (Prestige, 1971)

With Donald Byrd

With Eddie Harris

  • Silver Cycles (Atlantic, 1968)
  • How Can You Live Like That? (Atlantic, 1976)

With Jimmy Heath

  • New Picture (Landmark,1985)
  • Little Man, Big Band (Verve, 1992)

With Bobby Bland and B.B. King

  • Bobby Bland and B. B. King Together Again...Live (MCA, 1976)

With Herbie Mann

  • Glory of Love (CTI, 1967)

With Chico O'Farrill

  • Nine Flags (Impulse!, 1966)

With Moacir Santos

  • Saudade (Blue Note, 1974)

With Randy Weston

  • Spirits of Our Ancestors (recorded 1991)
  • Volcano Blues (recorded 1993)
  • Saga (recorded 1995)
  • Khepera (recorded 1998)
  • Spirit! The Power of Music (recorded 1999)
  • Live in St. Lucia (recorded 2002)


  1. Benny Powell at All Music Guide
  2. New York Times obituary
  3. Discography
This page was last modified 22.04.2014 05:25:34

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