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Blue Mitchell Sextet

Owner of a direct, lightly swinging, somewhat plain-wrapped tone that fit right in with the Blue Note label's hard bop ethos of the 1960s, Blue Mitchell tends to be overlooked today perhaps because he never really stood out vividly from the crowd, despite his undeniable talent. After learning the trumpet in high school -- where he got his nickname -- he started touring in the early '50s with the R&B bands of Paul Williams, Earl Bostic, and Chuck Willis before returning to Miami and jazz. There, he attracted the attention of Cannonball Adderley, with whom he recorded for Riverside in 1958. That year, he joined the Horace Silver Quintet, with whom he played and recorded until the band's breakup in March 1964, polishing his hard bop skills. During his Silver days, Mitchell worked with tenor Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor, drummer Roy Brooks, and various pianists as a separate unit and continued recording as a leader for Riverside. When Silver disbanded, Mitchell's spinoff quintet carried on with Al Foster replacing Brooks and a young future star named Chick Corea in the piano chair. This group, with several personnel changes, continued until 1969, recording a string of albums for Blue Note. Probably aware that opportunities for playing straight-ahead jazz were dwindling, Mitchell became a prolific pop and soul session man in the late '60s, and he toured with Ray Charles from 1969 to 1971 and blues/rock guitarist John Mayall in 1971-1973. Having settled in Los Angeles, he also played big-band dates with Louie Bellson, Bill Holman, and Bill Berry; made a number of funk and pop/jazz LPs in the late '70s; served as principal soloist for Tony Bennett and Lena Horne; and kept his hand in hard bop by playing with Harold Land in a quintet. He continued to freelance in this multifaceted fashion until his premature death from cancer at age 49. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Saw Blue Mitchell with Mayall in Providence in the early 70's. A great player in any style.
Dig it!
gregory.o.fu l l e r
Sweet
kdbourne
Blue and Miles are two different fruits...bot h deliciously tonal and melodic but COMPLETELY different. I love both but Miles is my man...:)
This guy displays here a crystal-clea r (un-florid) sound & on the haunting 'Park Ave Petite' track was satisfyingly reminiscent of the main theme/ mood of 'Chinatown' or 'The Two Jakes' . NICE!
Why do people think he sounds that much like Miles? Tone? Is that all? That's a shallow comparison don't you think? They are two completely different music theorists. They took music completely different paths.
Hey; where's the rest of his bio?
beautiful!!
definitely reminds me of chet baker. really nice sound.
nice
If you can recognize a player in a few notes, then your a monster player. Blue is..
1stchairflut e
Mitchell has such a fine tone that he 'sticks out'. The essence of purity.
bmissjessie
Love that pure haunting sound, reminesent of early Chet Baker.
prescotttolk
From a non-pundit perspective, I think he's got his own thing going. This Polka Dots & Moonbeams track I'm listening to now is blowing my mind. I don't know what it is, but it captures something right off the bat. When that happens, I tend to think it is the uniqueness of the player more than the song.
bucktrad
He recorded a pretty good album on ATCO with David Fathead Newman; I think it was called "Captain Buckles." It's not all straight ahead jazz, with some Caribbean and r 'n b touches, but it's enjoyable.
Blue doesn't sound like Miles. He sounds like himself... The reason for his lack of recognition may be the cheezy albums he did in the 70's. I remember buying some of them... Kinda strange disco spaciness. But his other work has always sounded great to me!
Blue Micthell does have that Miles sound without the Miles flair and total authenic Miles personality and "attitude" that comes through his music as an extension of himself. But Blue can play and was a strong side man.
kathyh181
Wow!
I think part of the reason Mr. Mitchell may never have gotten the recognition he obviously deserves is that his sound is SOOO similar to Miles Davis'. I don't know what kind of range Mitchell has, but he'd have to go a long way to even match Davis'.
he's a badass! yeamon

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