March 13, 1930 – May 21, 1979
Trumpeter Richard Allen “Blue” Mitchell was born March 13, 1930 in Miami, Florida.
Mitchell started playing trumpet in high school, and in the early 1950’s he began touring with the R&B bands of Paul Williams and Chuck Willis.
In 1958 he joined the Horace Silver Quintet, and toured and recorded with them until the band’s breakup in 1964.
In the ’60’s Mitchell was a session artist for Blue Note Records, recording and touring with Ray Charles, John Mayall, Louie Bellson and Tony Bennet.
Acquiring the nickname “Blue” he left his home state bound for New York in 1958 with
Cannonball Adderley and made his first recordings for Riverside Records.
After the quintet disbanded Blues Mitchell formed a group with members from the Silver quintet, featuring pianist Chick Corea, and drummer Al Foster.
This ensemble dissolved in 1969 when Mitchell joined Ray Charles for a two-year tour.
Blue Mitchell remained an avid player of hard-bop in Los Angeles with the “Harold Land Quintet” up until his death on May 21, 1979.
Recorded in New York City at Reeves Sound Studios in September 1959 with his Sextet, from his third album release as a leader “Blue Soul.”
Blue Mitchell, trumpet
Curtis Fuller, trombone
Jimmy Heath, tenor sax
Wynton Kelly, piano
Sam Jones, bass
Philly Joe Jones, drums