Powell, Seldon

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Powell, Seldon

Powell, Seldon , tenor saxophonist, flutist; b. Lawrenceville, Va., Nov. 15, 1928; d. Hempstead, N.Y., Jan. 25, 1997. He was classically trained in N.Y., and worked briefly with Tab Smith in 1949 before joining Lucky Millinder and recording with him in 1950. Powell was in the military (1950–51), then became a studio musician in N.Y. He worked and recorded with Louis Bellson, Neal Hefti, Friedrich Guida, Johnny Richards and Billy Ver Planck in the 1950s. He also played with Sy Oliver and Erskine Hawkins, and studied at Juilliard. He traveled to Europe with Benny Goodman’s band (1958), and worked briefly with Woody Herman. Powell was a staff player for ABC TV in the 1960s, and also performed and recorded with Buddy Rich, Bellson, Clark Terry and Ahmed Abdul-Malik. He did a number of soul jazz and pop dates in the late 1960s and early 1970s, among them a session with Groove Holmes and big band dates backing Gato Barbieri and Dizzy Gillespie. Powell was principal soloist in Gerry Mulligan’s 16-piece band at the JVC Jazz Festival in N.Y. in 1987.


Seldon Powell Plays (1955); Seldon Powell Sextet (1956).

—Lewis Porter

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