All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Alton Purnell

Alton Purnell Alton Purnell

Starting out as a singer, Alton Purnell took up piano in his youth and became a professional musician in his mid-teens. He worked with a number of well-known bands in his home-town of New Orleans, including those led by Alphonse Picou and Big Eye Louis Nelson, before moving to New York in the mid-40s, where he played in various bands, including those led by Bunk Johnson and George Lewis, with whom he was best associated.

In the mid-50s he moved out to the west coast where he played with many leading New Orleans and Dixieland jazzmen such as Kid Ory, Teddy Buckner, Ben Pollack and Barney Bigard.

From the mid-60s onwards, Purnell toured extensively, sometimes in bands such as the Legends of Jazz, the Young Men Of New Orleans and Kid Thomas' band. He also toured as a soloist. A strong player who ably blended the traditional New Orleans style of piano playing with elements of Harlem stride, Purnell proved very popular well into the later years of his career.


Tags

Photos

Albums

Album Alton Purnell  Live by Alton Purnell

Alton Purnell Live

Ghb Records
1995

buy
 

New Orleans Today...

Smoky Mary Phonograph Company
1970

buy
 

Texas And Louisiana...

Smoky Mary Phonograph Company
0

buy
 

(1958)

Smoky Mary Phonograph Company
0

buy

Watch

Similar

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.