Blue Mitchell

Blue Mitchell

Richard Allen (Blue) Mitchell (March 13, 1930May 21, 1979) was an American jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, rock, and funk trumpeter. He was born and grew up in Miami, Florida. Mitchell began playing trumpet in high school where he acquired his nickname. 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 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 employing members from the Silver quintet substituting the young pianist Chick Corea for Silver and replacing a then sick Brooks 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.

Albums As Leader

Recording Year Release Title Label
1958 Big 6 Riverside
1958 Blues on My Mind Riverside
1959 Out of the Blue Riverside
1959 Blue Soul Riverside
1960 Blue's Moods Riverside
1960 Smooth As the Wind Riverside
1962 A Sure Thing Riverside
1962 The Cup Bearers Riverside
1963 Blue Mitchell Mainstream
1963 Step Lightly Blue Note, Released Later
1964 The Thing to Do Blue Note
1965 Down with It! Blue Note
1966 Bring It Home to Me Blue Note
1966 Boss Horn Blue Note
1967 Heads Up Blue Note
1968 Collision in Black Blue Note
1969 Bantu Village Blue Note
1971 Soul Village Mainstream
1971 Vital Blue Mainstream
1972 Blue's Blues Mainstream
1973 The Last Tango = Blues Mainstream
1973 Graffiti Blues Mainstream
1974 Many Shades of Blue Mainstream
1975 Stratosonic Nuances RCA
1975 Strato Sonic RCA
1976 Live [Just Jazz] -
1976 Funktion Junction RCA
1976 True Blue Xanadu
1976 Funktion RCA
1977 Last Dance JAM
1977 African Violet ABC
1977 Mapanzi Concord Jazz
1977 Summer Soft Impulse!


Recording Year Leader Title Label
1952 Lou Donaldson New Faces-New Sounds Blue Note
1976 Al Cohn, Dexter Gordon True Blue Xanadu Records
1976 Al Cohn, Dexter Gordon Silver Blue Xanadu Records

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