Benny listens to fellow Basie-ite Frank Wess at a Jazz Mobile gig earlier this year.

I think about Benny Powell every day and I think I always will. I hope I always will. It’s still difficult and I still get the lump in my throat and the pain in my head. But it’s still worth it. I recall his ability to soothe. I recall his way of putting things in perspective. I recall his need to warm his mouthpiece on the way to a gig. I’d say something superfluous and he’d say “I can’t talk about that right now, I got too many notes running round through my head.” there would be a minute of silence and then he’d start singing.
“Blee doot…blah dah blah blee blah blee doot”.
I’d shut up and listen. A minute or two later he’d start talking about his daughter or his granddaughter. Or about how lucky he was to be doing what he loved to do, living where he could walk or take a taxi to a gig, or how he could do anything he wanted at the drop of a hat. He would add “And if it ain’t fun, I don’t have to do it”