Pullen, Don (Gabriel )
- Ryan D. W. Bruce
(b Roanoke, VA, Dec 25, 1941; d New York, NY, April 22, 1995). American jazz pianist, organist, composer, and bandleader. His early training ranged from classical music to gospel and the blues. His modern piano style took shape in 1964 after he left his studies as a pre-med student at Johnson C. Smith University to study with the AACM pianist muhal richard Abrams . Pullen then moved to New York, where he associated himself with the avant-garde jazz scene, recorded with the Giuseppe Logan Quartet (1964–5), and released a self-produced duo album with drummer Milford Graves (1966). Pullen financially supported himself by accompanying various gospel and R&B artists during the late 1960s and accepting a one-year position as Nina Simone’s musical director; he also worked as an arranger for King Records (c1968–9). He became known for his performances and four recordings with the Charles Mingus orchestra (...