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Robert Mirandon

jazz pianist and composer, was born Don Gabriel Pullen in Roanoke, Virginia. His parents' names are unknown, but his father worked professionally as a singer, guitarist, and dancer. He attended public schools in Roanoke and as a youngster took up the piano. One likely guide in his studies was a cousin, Clyde “Fats” Wright, later cited by Pullen as a core influence. In addition to piano, Pullen became adept on the organ accompanying gospel singers at local church services. He soon was working with groups in-area nightclubs, mainly backing rhythm and blues vocalists.

While Pullen attended Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, he first became interested in jazz through listening to recordings of the pianist Art Tatum During that period dramatic changes were occurring in jazz the music moving well beyond the overriding bebop postbop and soul styles of the postwar years Pullen immersed himself ...

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Ulrich Adelt

singer, guitarist, and pianist, was born John Watson in Houston, Texas. His father taught him to play piano. At age eleven he inherited his first guitar from his grandfather, a preacher, who told him not to use it for playing blues. However, as Watson later admitted, that was the first thing he played. His early influences were T-Bone Walker and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. As a teenager he made a name for himself in the Houston blues scene, playing with blues guitarists Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland and winning talent contests hosted by singer Johnny Otis. Watson left for Los Angeles when he was fifteen years old.

In the 1950s Watson became one of the most exciting blues guitarists on the West Coast. He played piano and sang on the saxophonist Chuck Higgins's “Motorhead Baby” in 1952 and signed his first record contract as Young John ...