Purnell, Keg [William] (Charleston, WV, 7 Jan 1915 - New York, 25 June 1965)




He played with the Campus Revellers, led by the pianist Chappie Willett, while attending West Virginia State College (1932-4), and then worked with King Oliver (1934-5). In addition to leading his own trio in the late 1930s, he played with Thelonious Monk (1939), Benny Carter (1939-40, recording in 1940), and Claude Hopkins (1941-2). Between 1942 and 1952 his principal association was with Eddie Heywood, with whom he had recorded in the Quintones in 1940; he also recorded with Rex Stewart (1945), Teddy Wilson (1947), and Willie "the Lion" Smith (1953). From 1957 he worked with Snub Mosley at the Sands Beach Hotel in Howard Beach, New York.


 Al Vollmer


The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Macmillan Reference Ltd 1988