Discographical crime scene investigator Tom Lord lists a tuba player named Jim Powell and another named Jimmy Powell, both of whom are indicated as having begun recording careers in 1955; Jim Powell was active for four years and for four records, while Jimmy Powell is credited with solely the 1955 recording date. That was the year that jazz composer Victor Feldman cut his Suite Sixteen album, which was reissued in 1991. The actual liner notes on this excellent international session list the tuba player as Jim Powell, a British musician who also played in big bands such as the Tommy Watts Orchestra. The latter group's Watts Cooking? opus came out on Bethlehem at the end of the '50s.
The British tuba player is part of a number of performers with this name, but apparently not quite as many as Lord is counting. His Jimmy Powell on tuba from 1955 is most likely an editor getting overly friendly with the Jim Powell who participated in the Feldman opus. An alternative theory is that a trumpet player named Jimmy Powell was doubling somewhere on tuba in the mid-'50s, not a technical impossibility in a world of puckered embouchures. Lord has tripled the existing trumpeters with this name by presenting a separate listing for Jim Powell, Jimmy Powell, and James Powell -- they are all the same big band veteran, however, most often credited in the shortest form of the first name. More than 25 albums have featured this Jim Powell on trumpet -- but never doubling on tuba. The case for only one Jimmy Powell on the latter instrument rests, hopefully not on anyone's foot since it has a tuba in it.