Blue Mitchell, trumpet – Blue Soul – Riverside Records (Keepnews Collection)

by | Mar 21, 2008 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Blue Mitchell, trumpet – Blue Soul – Riverside Records (Keepnews Collection) RCD 30508, 1959,  56:38 ***** [Distr. by Concord Records]:

Regarding Richard “Blue” Mitchell, I cannot remain neutral. Blue has always been in the extreme upper echelon of my favorite trumpeters of ANY jazz period. His warm burnished lyrical tone coupled with his sense of swing, and his soulful compositions caught my attention years ago. His was the first Mosaic box set that I purchased and it remains a jewel in my Mosaic collection.

As a Blue Mitchell completist, it was with much excitement that that I awaited this Keepnews re-issue. The reason was simple: Bonus tracks! Orrin Keepnews has added additional takes of Minor Vamp, Park Avenue Petite, and Blue Soul.

Utilizing what could be considered a nearly flawless sextet of Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Heath, Wynton Kelly, Sam Jones, and Philly Joe Jones (each a band leader in their own right), Mitchell’s third session as a leader was the beginning of a breakout period that lead up to a Blue Note Records contract.

Joe Tarantino’s 24 bit remastering here is top drawer. Band members were near the peak of their powers. The bonus tracks inclusion ties this CD release with a gold ribbon. Fellow Blue Mitchell fanatics, this is the real deal!

– Jeff Krow

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