Mel Powell

Genres: Jazz
Decades Active: 1950s 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

Melvin Epstein, 12 February 1923, New York City, New York, USA, d. 24 April 1998, Los Angeles, California, USA. As a teenager Powell played piano at Nick’s in New York City and soon thereafter joined Muggsy Spanier. His exceptional and at the time eclectic gifts attracted the attention of Benny Goodman, whom he joined in 1941. During his stint with Goodman he wrote several interesting charts, sometimes for his own compositions, which included ‘The Earl’, ‘Clarinet A La King’ and ‘Mission To Moscow’. Powell was then briefly on the staff at CBS, the radio and television company, before military service threatened to disrupt his career. In fact, his army service had the opposite effect and he was soon a member of Glenn Miller’s Army Air Force band, playing in the dance band and in the small jazz group, the Uptown Hall Gang.

After the war Powell made a few jazz records in Los Angeles, then in the early 50s...

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