Saturday, February 12, 2011

Great Jazz Albums (IMO) #20

Blue Mitchell.  Boss Horn (1966).  Blue Mitchell held his own as a trumpeter in Horace Silver's great quintet of the late 1950s-early 1960s, where "his lyrical playing and beautiful tone perfectly complemented Silver’s simplified, soulful brand of bop."  One critic wrote that Mitchell's tone had a "wistfulness about it, and his improvisations inclined toward the harmonic implications of the blues even when he worked with sophisticated material."  After Silver's group disbanded, Mitchell became a leader and recorded some great albums that invariably included swinging hard bop tunes, lovely ballads and R& B-inflected blues.  My favorite of these is Boss Horn.  What makes this album particularly noteworthy are the performances by two legendary (or soon to be) piano players on alternate tracks -- Cedar Walton and a young Chick Corea.  Corea wrote two of the album's compositions:  "Tones for Joan's Bones" and "Straight Up and Down."

[Related posts:  Really Great Jazz Albums,  #1 (Hank Mobley); , #2 (Horace Silver), #3 (Sonny Rollins), #4 (Sonny Clark), #5 (Dexter Gordon), #6 (Cannonball Adderley), #7 (Bill Evans), #8 (McCoy Tyner), #9 (Clifford Brown), #10 (Sinatra), #11 (Monk), #12 (Kenny Dorham), #13 (Coltrane), #14 (Duke Ellington), #15 (Miles Davis), #16 (Wayne Shorter), #17 (Dinah Washington); #18 (Sarah Vaughan); #19 (Stan Getz)]


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