|Tags:||jazz bebop piano jazz piano|
|Decades:||1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
|Links:||Allmusic BBC Music VIAF Wikipedia|
Earl Rudolph Powell, 27 September 1924, Harlem, New York City, New York, USA, d. 31 July 1966, New York City, New York, USA. After learning to play the piano in the classical tradition while still a child, Powell began working around New Yorks Coney Island, where he played in a band featuring Valaida Snow around 1940. During the next couple of years he became a regular visitor to Mintons Playhouse, where he heard the first stirrings of bebop. In particular, he was influenced by Thelonious Monks harmonic innovations but quickly developed his own style. Despite his leanings towards the new music, he was hired by Cootie Williams for his big band. During his stay with Williams he was arrested in Philadelphia and reportedly badly beaten by police officers, an event usually cited as the beginning of the mental problems that were to dog him for the rest of his life. He retained his links with events on 52nd Street and was soon one of the most striking of...