The 1959 sextet date displays attention to program and preparation too rare at the time. Trumpeter Blue Mitchell and a stellar group play compositions and arrangements by Benny Golson, a recognized master of the small-band format in his prime, and Jimmy Heath, a Philadelphia contemporary of Golson’s and John Coltrane’s who ended a lengthy recording absence and began his important association with Riverside on this session. Throughout the well-chosen and diverse material, and the heavy swing of a great rhythm section, Mitchell’s horn remains a model of intimate and balanced lyricism. This was a milestone album for the trumpeter, and heralded his greatest years in the Horace Silver Quintet and on Riverside Records.
with Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Heath, Wynton Kelly, Sam Jones, Philly Joe Jones