O'Donel Levy

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O'Donel Levy
Born(1945-09-20)September 20, 1945
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
DiedMarch 14, 2016(2016-03-14) (aged 70)
GenresRhythm and blues, funk, jazz
LabelsGroove Merchant, Lester Radio Corporation, ILM, Room 302

O'Donel "Butch" Levy (September 20, 1945 – March 14, 2016) was a rhythm & blues, funk and jazz guitarist from Baltimore, Maryland. He was brother of session drummer Stafford Levy.

Levy studied music at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He moved to New York City and toured with George Benson and Jimmy McGriff.[1]

Levy released his debut album, Black Velvet, in 1971 on Groove Merchant.[2] This was followed by a live album Concert: Friday the 13th - Cook County Jail, recorded at the Cook County Jail in Chicago in 1972. Levy performed as a member of the Jimmy McGriff quintet.[3]

Levy's second album Breeding of Mind (Groove Merchant, 1972) crossed the genres of jazz, funk, and pop. He recorded it with Charles Covington, Chester Thompson, and Eric Ward, with arrangements by Manny Albam.[4] His fourth album Simba (1973) was arranged by Albam, produced by Sonny Lester, and recorded with Warren Bernhardt, Cecil Bridgewater, Eddie Daniels, Jon Faddis, Steve Gadd, Tony Levin, Lew Soloff, and Bill Watrous.[5] His fifth album Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (1974) drew attention because of its risqué album cover.[6]

Levy's song "Bad, Bad Simba" from the 1973 album Simba was covered by Paprika Soul in 2001.


As sideman[edit]

With Jimmy McGriff

With others


  1. ^ "Welcome to Baltimore Sounds". Baltimore Sounds. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  2. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "O'Donel Levy - Black Velvet (1971) album review, credits & releases". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott. "George Freeman, O'Donel Levy, Jimmy McGriff, Lucky Thompson - Friday the 13th at the Cook County Jail (rec. 1972, rel. 1973) album review, credits & releases". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  4. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "O'Donel Levy - Breeding of Mind (1972) album review, credits & releases". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  5. ^ "O'Donel Levy - Simba (1973) album credits & releases". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  6. ^ Bacher, Danielle (26 March 2012). "Top Ten Sexiest Album Covers We've Ever Seen". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 1 August 2017.

External links[edit]