Grover MitchellView in iTunes
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Grover Mitchell is a soulful and expressive soloist who is best known for his association with swing greats, and has an appealing, very likable tone that was influenced by Tommy Dorsey. Born in Whatley, AL, and raised in Pittsburgh, he moved to the West Coast in the early '60s. Mitchell played with Duke Ellington's orchestra in 1961 before working with Lionel Hampton briefly in 1962. That year, he joined Count Basie's orchestra, whom he stayed with until 1970. Mitchell rejoined Basie in 1980 and remained with him until his death in 1984. It was in the early '70s that Mitchell started writing music for television and films, including the hit 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues (which starred Diana Ross as Billie Holiday). He began leading his own bands in the 1970s, including a big band that recorded for Jazz Chronicles in the 1970s and a Basie-ish orchestra that recorded for Stash throughout the second half of the 1980s. Mitchell has also recorded for Ken, and since 1995, he has been leading the Basie "ghost orchestra." The mellow-toned trombonist lost a quiet battle with cancer and died August 4, 2003. ~ Alex Henderson