Blue and Silver – Mitchell and Horace – Good Jazz!

In the early 70’s John Mayall released those two albums that I always talk about Jazz Blues Fusion and Movin’ On Blue Mitchell played some great trumpet on those two albums today I listened to a nice album of Blue’s titled Blue’s Blues. The album was released in 1972 between the two Mayall albums and Mayall played harmonica on the album and another featured player on Mayall’s albums Freddy Robinson added some great guitar. The album only has five tracks but the shortest track is 7 minutes long and the longest is over ten minutes.

From Dusty Groove America

Sweet soulful work from trumpeter Blue Mitchell – a set that has him working with a slightly large group of players, but in a style that’s always very much in the groove! There’s a nice electric undercurrent to the record throughout – sometimes in the instrumentation from other players, sometimes in the overall way the grooves are put together – which gives the record a quality that’s almost like a funky soundtrack at the best moments! The lineup is a bit weird, too – with Joe Sample on keyboards, Freddy Robinson on guitar, Herman Riley on tenor and flute, and even John Mayall on harmonica – playing with a vamping funky edge on a few tunes! The title track – “Blues Blues” – is a great little jazzy break number, and other tracks include “Granite & Concrete”, “Casa Blues”, and “I Didn’t Ask To Be”.

Blue passed away in 1979 at the age of 49 from cancer. Throughout his career which spanned the years 1952 through 1979 Mitchell played with a lot of great band leaders including Lou Donaldson, Grant Green, Philly Joe Jones, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Johnny Griffin, Al Cohn, Dexter Gordon and Jimmy Smith. Blue also played on seven Horace Silver albums which was the second jazz artist that I listened to today the album that I listened to was Live at Newport ’58. Evidently producer Michael Cuscuna found documentation of the Horace Silver Quintet being recorded at the Newport, RI jazz festival in 1958 among Voice of America  archives at the Library of Congress. He managed to find the three-track master in Columbia Records’ vault, and the result was  Live at Newport ’58. I don’t know a lot about Silver’s music but he was very influential in  the hard-bop jazz movements on the 50’s an 60’s both as an artist and composer and many great artist played with Silver through the years  like Blue Mitchell! Anyway the recording was good as was the music. From CD Universe:

The set opens with “Tippin’,” a hard swinger, then segues to “The Outlaw,” a composition in the classic Silver mode, incorporating exotic rhythms, complex melodic leads, and deep grooves. “Senor Blues,” a cool-toned blues, and “Cool Eyes,” a frenetic bop workout, are equally impressive. The tunes are extended, and feature plenty of top-flight improvisation from the musicians, making for a memorable live date worth picking up.

I agree it was a good listen and I’ll probably listen to more of Silver’s music in the future. So if you like hard bop jazz check him out!

Here’s Horace Silver “Cool Eyes” with Blue Mitchell on trumpet and Junior Cook on sax