Richie Powell Day

September 5, 1931 – June 26, 1956

Lover Come Back To Me

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Pianist and arranger Richie Powell was born on September 5, 1931 in New York City, New York.

Richie was the younger brother of pioneering bebop pianist Bud Powell.

Richie had a very accomplished career, despite its brevity. In the early ‘50s he played in bands led by Johnny Hodges and Paul Williams. He was also the pianist and arranger for the Clifford Brown and Max Roach Quintet.

Pianist McCoy Tyner, who grew up next to the Powells, developed his style in part based on Powell’s unique chord voicings.

On June 26, 1956 following a gig at a Philadelphia music store Richie Powell died in a car accident when his wife Nancy, who was driving, lost control on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Cleveland killing them both.

Bound for a gig in Chicago the crash also claimed the life of their passenger trumpeter Clifford Brown.

There were many ‘Golden Ages of Jazz’, but this sweet spot in time during the 1950s surely has to be one of the best, when the door opened by the bebop era caused 1,000 flowers to bloom.


Dinah Washington, vocals
Clifford Brown, trumpet
Maynard Ferguson, trumpet
Clark Terry, trumpet
Herb Geller, alto saxophone
Harold Land, tenor saxophone
Richie Powell, piano
Junior Mance, piano
George Morrow, double bass
Keter Betts,double bass
Max Roach, drums


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