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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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  1. Stablemates
  2. Portrait of Jennie
  3. There Will Never Be Another You
  4. Getting Sentimental Over Blue
  5. I Canít Get Started
  6. Ow!

Blue Mitchell Ė Trumpet
Dick Spencer Ė Alto
Victor Feldman Ė Piano
John Heard Ė Bass
Dick Berk Ė 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 Iím 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 donít get in the way of the soloist.

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 Blueís style very well. I Canít Get Started has always been in the repertoire of the best of jazz trumpet players right from the time of Bunny Beriganís classic version in the 1930ís. Not an easy tune to improvise on, but this quintet make it sound easy.

Dizzy Gillespieís 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, letís all be glad for that!

Don Mather

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