Blue Mitchell – Trumpet
Dick Spencer – Alto
Victor Feldman – Piano
John Heard – Bass
Dick Berk – Drums
Recorded at Sage and Sound Studio, Hollywood,
California, 28/29 April 1977.
CANDID have done all
jazz fans a great favour by releasing
this session on CD, it finds all of the
players on top form and I enjoyed it more
than any other album I have reviewed recently.
Blue Mitchell was a amazing talent on
trumpet, lyrical and controlled in execution,
with a fantastic technique, but at the
same time exciting, his death from cancer
at age 49 was a tragedy for the jazz world.
His front line partner, although he is
not featured on all the tracks, is alto
saxist, Dick Spencer who is also a very
exciting player with a great tone and
lots of interesting improvisational lines.
Pianist Victor Feldman
a UK export who could more than hold his
own on the US jazz scene, plays a great
supporting role to the front line as well
as being a fine soloist himself. He also
co-operated with Blue Mitchell in the
writing of Getting Sentimental over Blue
and he plays both the introduction and
the first solo on that track. (It sounds
like improvisations on I’m Getting Sentimental
Over You, including the tag to me!)
John Heard (Bass) and
Dick Berk are the kind of Bass player
and Drummer we would all like to play
with, they keep perfect time, they swing
like mad and don’t get in the way of the
The programme kicks off
with Stablemates, a Benny Golsen composition,
Blue had played with Benny for some years
in a quintet led by pianist Horace Silver.
Portrait of Jennie is
not very often heard these days, but it
suits Blue’s style very well. I Can’t
Get Started has always been in the repertoire
of the best of jazz trumpet players right
from the time of Bunny Berigan’s classic
version in the 1930’s. Not an easy tune
to improvise on, but this quintet make
it sound easy.
Dizzy Gillespie’s Ow!
Completes what is a superb album which
I heartily recommend to all lovers of
real jazz. There is no fusion here and
as most fusion leads to confusion, let’s
all be glad for that!