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African Violet / Summer Soft

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Album Review

This two-fer combines a pair of trumpeter Blue Mitchell's late-career albums for the Impulse! label: 1977's African Violet and Summer Soft. A consummate hard bopper, Mitchell experimented with soul- and funk-jazz as the '70s wore on and these albums are no exception. Funky but lyrical, muscular yet still swinging with a modern jazz intensity, these albums feature Mitchell playing against small as well as large ensembles, including orchestral strings on African Violet. Reflecting the somewhat commercial approach to many jazz productions of the time with electric guitars and synthesizers in the mix, they are nonetheless worthy, hard to find recordings and it's great to have them together on one disc.

Biography

Born: March 13, 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...
Full Bio
African Violet / Summer Soft, Blue Mitchell
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: Sep 30, 2011

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