Personnel: Blue Mitchell (trumpet, horns); Blue Mitchell; Gene Taylor (double bass); Jerry Dodgion (flute, alto saxophone); Junior Cook (tenor saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone, brass); Julian Priester (trombone); Chick Corea, Cedar Walton (piano); Mickey Roker (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Rudy Van Gelder.
Liner Note Authors: Nat Hentoff; Bob Blumenthal.
Recording information: New York, NY (11/17/1966); Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (11/17/1966).
Arranger: Duke Pearson.
Arranger: Duke Pearson.
Recorded in the midst of Blue Mitchell's 1960s tenure at Blue Note, BOSS HORN is a solid album of top-notch hard bop. Here the trumpeter leads an ensemble with a formidable horn line that includes trombonist Julian Priester and baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams. Mitchell's strong trumpet playing is always front-and-center, but BOSS HORN is particularly notable for its pianists. Cedar Walton appears on the album's first four tracks, and his jaunty work on Mitchell's own celebratory, neo-Latin "O Mama Enit" is a highlight. A young Chick Corea proves to be the real scene-stealer, however, with his two self-penned tracks, "Tones for Joan's Bones" and "Straight Up and Down." Both of these adventurous tunes are performed on Corea's '68 debut, which is titled after the former song. For fans of any of the aforementioned musicians, especially Mitchell and Corea, this is an underrated gem of a record that provides a bridge between Mitchell's more straightforward bop and Corea's groundbreaking solo work.
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