September 27th in African American History – Earl Rudolph “Bud” Powell

Earl Rudolph “Bud” Powell

Earl Rudolph “Bud” Powell

September 27, 1924 Earl Rudolph “Bud” Powell, jazz pianist, was born in New York City.

At an early age, Powell learned classical piano, but by eight became interested in jazz and by 15 was playing in his brother’s band. His debut recording was with Cootie Williams’ band in 1944. In 1947, he made his debut recording as a leader with the album “Bud Powell Trio.”

Other albums by Powell include “The Amazing Bud Powell” (1951), “Blues in the Closet” (1956), and “Bud Powell in Paris” (1963). Many people referred to Powell as “the Charlie Parker of the piano.” Powell suffered from mental illness throughout his later life and died July 31, 1966.

That same year, he was posthumously inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. “Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell” was published in 1986 and was the basis for the movie “Round Midnight (1986).

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