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Billy Mitchell

Billy Mitchell was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. Mitchell was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Known for his close association with fellow Detroit based player Thad Jones and work with a variety of big bands including Woody Herman's when he replaced Gene Ammons. In 1949 Mitchell recorded with the Milt Buckner band, and from 1956 to 1957 he played with Dizzy Gillespie in his big band. From 1957 until 1961 and from 1966 to 1967 Mitchell played with Count Basie, having replaced Lockjaw Davis. In the early 1960s he co-led a group with Al Grey, and also served as musical director to Stevie Wonder for a short time during this period

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Good Morning Blues

Read "Good Morning Blues" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie as told to Albert Murray William James Basie 399 Pages ISBN: 978-1-5179-0143-1 University of Minnesota Press 2016 (1985) In May 1959 Count Basie and his Orchestra played a “Breakfast Dance and Barbecue," like back in Kansas City, hosted by Roulette ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Billy Mitchell: Detroit Colossus

Billy Mitchell: Detroit Colossus

It's a disgrace that many of Billy Mitchell's leadership albums aren't available on CD or by download. Mitchell was a tenor saxophonist of extraordinary power and skill, and yet today he's virtually unknown. Many jazz musicians had the misfortune of recording for labels in the 1960s and '70s that were so small that the master tapes ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Thad Jones: The Magnificent Thad Jones

Read "The Magnificent Thad Jones" reviewed by Greg Simmons

It's all about the swing. Featured in the Count Basie Orchestra, one of the hardest swinging bands ever, Thad Jones had more swing in his little toe then most musicians will ever dream of. Even when he slowed the tempo he still swung, and his second date as a leader for Blue Note Records, The Magnificent ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Bobby Hutcherson: A Life In Jazz

Read "Bobby Hutcherson: A Life In Jazz" reviewed by AAJ Staff

This interview was first published at All About Jazz in February 1999. Listen to any one of Bobby Hutcherson's albums for Blue Note during the mid-'60's and '70's, he made well over thirty, and you will see just why he is the best vibraphonist in jazz. Dialogue with Andrew Hill, Components with a fiery ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Beale Street Music Festival 2016

Read "Beale Street Music Festival 2016" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Beale Street Music Festival Memphis in May International Festival Tom Lee Park Memphis, TN April 29-May 1, 2016 “The Mississippi Delta begins in the lobby of The Peabody Hotel and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg. The Peabody is the Paris Ritz, the Cairo Shepheard, the London Savoy of ...

The Magnificent Thad Jones – Blue Note 1527

Read "The Magnificent Thad Jones – Blue Note 1527" reviewed by Marc Davis

Man does not live by hard bop alone, even on Blue Note. Sometimes, you just got to have a ballad. When you're in the mood, this is the record for you. Thad Jones provides the horn, and he has never been better. Jones is best known as co-leader of the big band that bore ...

Bimhuis at 40: Older, Better, Business as Usual

Read "Bimhuis at 40: Older, Better, Business as Usual" reviewed by Joan Gannij

The Bimhuis is turning 40 and is still very much in its prime. Beginning October 1, jny: Amsterdam's venerable jazz club will celebrate this milestone with a variety of concerts, activities and special events. The Bimhuis opened in 1974 after a lengthy search for a suitable venue for improvising musicians. Over the next decades it would ...

Thad Jones: Detroit-New York Junction – Blue Note 1513

Read "Thad Jones: Detroit-New York Junction – Blue Note 1513" reviewed by Marc Davis

Before he became famous as the leader of a big band, Thad Jones was a trumpet player, and a damn good one. In 1956, Jones led his first jazz group. It was a small sextet--unlike his later, more celebrated ensemble, co-led by Mel Lewis. This short album, which chronicles that session, has only five ...

More Fresh Sounds From Fresh Sound

Read "More Fresh Sounds From Fresh Sound" reviewed by Bruce Klauber

The Fresh Sound record label has released another superb batch of late 1950s and early 1960s recordings by jazz legends, greats, near-greats and now obscure artists who, then and now, deserve wider recognition. As detailed in previous pieces, Fresh Sound is the only organization out there issuing these essential works, which otherwise would remain lost.


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