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Smooth As the Wind

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Album Review

Trumpeter Blue Mitchell is in excellent form on this very interesting session that has been reissued on CD. Mitchell is accompanied by a brass section, a rhythm section, and strings. The arrangements (seven by Tadd Dameron and three from Benny Golson) are generally quite stimulating, inspiring the trumpeter to come up with many fresh melodic solos. The repertoire includes two songs that Mitchell played regularly with the Horace Silver Quintet, a pair of superior Tadd Dameron tunes (including the title cut), and six standards. By varying tempos and moods, Dameron and Golson helped create one of the better soloist-with-strings jazz dates.


Born: 13 March 1930 in Miami, FL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

Owner of a direct, lightly swinging, somewhat plain-wrapped tone that fit right in with the Blue Note label's hard bop ethos of the 1960s, Blue Mitchell tends to be overlooked today perhaps because he never really stood out vividly from the crowd, despite his undeniable talent. After learning the trumpet in high school -- where he got his nickname -- he started touring in the early '50s with the R&B bands of Paul Williams, Earl Bostic, and Chuck Willis before returning to Miami and jazz. There, he...
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Smooth As the Wind, Blue Mitchell
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