It's Been So Long

It's Been So Long

by Mel Powell


One of the many frustrating ironies of jazz history has to do with Mel Powell. A superb swing pianist in the Earl "Fatha" Hines/Art Tatum/Teddy Wilson vein, Powell was at the height of his powers as a jazz improviser when, in the 1950s, he decided to retire from jazz and put his time and energy into classical music. Before making that decision, he recorded some inspired small-group swing dates for Vanguard in the early to mid-'50s. One of the CDs that illustrates the excellence of Powell's Vanguard output is It's Been So Long, which spans 1953-1956 and contains selections from four of his classic John Hammond-produced LPs (including Borderline and Out on a Limb). Joined by such accomplished soloists as trumpeter Buck Clayton, clarinetist Edmund Hall, and the Lester Young-influenced tenor saxman Paul Quinichette, Powell lets loose and really goes that extra mile. Not surprisingly, many of the songs are associated with Powell's one-time employer Benny Goodman, including "Stompin' at the Savoy," "Avalon," and "If Dreams Come True." After his Vanguard sessions, Powell didn't record another jazz album as a leader until 1987's The Return of Mel Powell on Chiaroscuro. In Powell's case, jazz's loss was certainly classical's gain.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/25/2000
Label: Vanguard Imports
UPC: 0090204871360
catalogNumber: 0487136


  1. It's Wonderful
  2. It's Been So Long
  3. You're Lucky To Me
  4. When Did You Leave Heaven
  5. Makin' Whoopie
  6. Borderline
  7. Quin And Sonic
  8. Pennies From Heaven
  9. Avalon
  10. Stompin' At The Savoy
  11. Cross Your Heart
  12. If Dreams Come True
  13. Gone With The Wind
  14. What's New
  15. Cooch
  16. Bunny Hug

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mel Powell   Primary Artist

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