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Rudy Powell

An excellent journeyman clarinetist and altoist, Rudy Powell (who in old age would switch his name to Musheed Karweem) had a reasonably productive profession. He analyzed piano and violin as a kid before switching to saxophone. Powell was a specialist musician by 1927, using June Clark and Gene Rodger’s Revellers. His 1st major work was with Cliff Jackson’s Krazy Kats from 1928-30. The altoist (who was simply influenced a little by Benny Carter) experienced many associations over time, dealing with Elmer Snowden, Dave Nelson, Sam Wooding, Kaiser Marshall’s Trio, Rex Stewart (1933), Body fat Waller (on / off from 1935-37), Edgar Hayes, Claude Hopkins (1938-39 and 1944), the Teddy Wilson big music group, Andy Kirk (1940-41), Fletcher Henderson (1941-42), Eddie South, Don Redman (1943), Chris Columbus, Cab Calloway’s Orchestra (1945-48), Lucky Millinder (1949-51), Jimmy Hurrying, Pal Tate, pianist Benton Heath’s New Backyard Ballroom Orchestra (1953-61), Ray Charles (1961-62), Pal Johnson and Duke Ellington’s My People display. Powell’s last main association was using the Saints and Sinners (1965-69), although he freelanced sometimes in to the 1970s. Powell documented with a lot of the above brands (plus Al Casey in 1960 and Henry “Crimson” Allen) but not as a leader.

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