Monday, 11 July 2011

Blue Mitchell

Richard Allen (Blue) Mitchell (March 13, 1930 – May 21, 1979) was an American jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, rock, and funk trumpeter, known for many albums recorded as leader and sideman for Riverside, Blue Note and then Mainstream Records.

Mitchell was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He began playing trumpet in high school where he acquired his nickname, Blue.

After high school he played in the rhythm and blues ensembles of Paul Williams, Earl Bostic, and Chuck Willis. After returning to Miami he was noticed by Cannonball Adderley, with whom he recorded for Riverside Records in New York in 1958.

He then joined the Horace Silver Quintet playing with tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor and drummer Roy Brooks. Mitchell stayed with Silver's group until the band's break-up in 1964. After the Silver quintet disbanded, Mitchell formed a group with members from the Silver quintet substituting the young pianist Chick Corea for Silver and replacing Brooks, who had fallen ill, with drummer Al Foster. This group produced a number of records for Blue Note disbanding in 1969, after which Mitchell joined and toured with Ray Charles till 1971.

From 1971 to 1973 Mitchell performed with John Mayall on Jazz Blues Fusion. From the mid-70s he recorded and worked as a session man in the genres noted previously, performed with the big band leaders Louie Bellson, Bill Holman and Bill Berry and was principal soloist for Tony Bennett and Lena Horne. Other band leaders Mitchell recorded with include Lou Donaldson, Grant Green, Philly Joe Jones, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Johnny Griffin, Al Cohn, Dexter Gordon and Jimmy Smith. Blue Mitchell kept his hard-bop playing going with the Harold Land quintet up until his death from cancer on May 21, 1979 in Los Angeles, California at the age of 49.



Blue Mitchell – Down With It
 












01. Hi-Heel Sneakers
02. Perception
03. Alone, Alone and Alone
04. March On Selma
05. One Shirt
06. Samba De Stacy

Personnel:
Blue Mitchell (trumpet); Junior Cook (tenor saxophone); Chick Corea (piano); Gene Taylor (double bass); Al Foster (drums).

Down With It is a fairly standard bop and soul-jazz session from Blue Mitchell. Leading a quintet that features a young Chick Corea on piano, tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor, and drummer Al Foster, Mitchell creates a laid-back atmosphere which makes R&B covers like “Hi-Heel Sneakers” or the lite bossa nova of “Samba De Stacy” roll along nicely. Just as often, the record is so relaxed that it fails to generate much spark, but each the soloists have fine moments that makes the session worthwhile for jazz purists.



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