Gorgeous sounds on battered home-recording discs: the magnificent piano creations of Mel Powell, circa 1941-2 (but that’s only a guess).  Those of you who recoil from surface noise (“How can you hear anything through all those scratches?” frequently said a Philistine I knew at close range) might want to suspend critical severity.  The Complaint Department is located right next to the dumpster.  The discs are courtesy of Kati Powell, Mel’s very gracious and generous daughter.

There’s gold in them there grooves.

One more for Mr. Waller:

and that pretty ballad, suggesting Jimmie Noone and Nat Cole:

It’s a pity he isn’t recognized more: he could really and truly play.

May your happiness increase!

2 responses to “SWEET SOUNDS from MEL POWELL (AT HOME)

  1. Sonny McGown

    Dear Michael,
    This is truly amazing despite the sound imperfections. Here you have a brilliant artist literally experimenting with the work of a classic Fats Waller song and creating so many variations. I also hear some Art Tatum influence employed in spots as well. There are so few opportunities to hear great musicians formulate their ideas in such an informal setting. These are gems! Thank you for posting.

  2. Greg Thymius

    What precious documents! I could hear just fine, especially once the recordings got going. There are people who know how to clean up the physical discs, and the sound without taking away from the recording itself (I belong to two record collecting groups that include such experts that did and still do this for a living). Meanwhile, the raw transfer is invaluable! Thanks for bringing them to our attention.

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