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Mitchell, Red

Biography

Keith Moore "Red" Mitchell (September 20, 1927, New York City - November 8, 1992, Salem, Oregon), was an American jazz double-bassist, composer, lyricist, and poet. Mtchell was born on September 20, 1927 in New York City. Although Cornell University awarded him an engineering scholarship, by 1947 he was in the US Army playing bass. The next year he was in a jazz trio in New York City. itchell became known for performing and/or recording with Mundell Lowe, Chubby Jackson, Charlie Ventura, Woody Herman, Red Norvo, Gerry Mulligan, and, after joining the West Coast jazz scene in the early 1950s, with Andre Previn, Shelly Manne, Hampton Hawes, Billie Holiday, Stan Seltzer, Ornette Coleman, and others. He also worked as a bassist in the TV and film studios around Los Angeles, occasionally appearing on screen. Mitchell also appeared in documentaries about Tal Farlow, and Zoot Sims. axophonist Harold Land and Mitchell founded and co-led a quintet in the early 1960s. In 1966, Red began tuning his bass in fifths (as the violin, viola, and cello are tuned), and his tuning method opened up many possibilities for bassists. Mitchell moved to Stockholm in 1968. He won a Swedish Grammy Awards in 1986 and again in 1991 for his recorded performances as a pianist, bassist, and vocalist, and for his compositions and poetic song lyrics. During this period, Mitchell performed and/or recorded with Clark Terry, Lee Konitz, Herb Ellis, Jim Hall, Joe Pass, Kenny Barron, Hank Jones, Ben Webster, Bill Mays, Warne Marsh, Jimmy Rowles, Phil Woods, Roger Kellaway, Putte Wickman and others. He frequently collaborated in duos, most notably with pianist Kellaway after the mid-1980s. Returning to the United States in early 1992, Mitchell settled in Oregon where he died at age 65 on November 8, 1992.




Recordings

Mitchell, Red / Marsh, Warne: Big Two

Tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh and bassist Red Mitchell were true soul brothers who played together intermittently during a friendship that survived nearly 40 years and was broken only by the sudden and tragic death of Warne in December, 1987. Now Red has gone too, and their remarkable musical association which flowered late in their lives is no more. But it survives in the memories of all who heard them play together and lives on through the outstanding recordings they made in 1980. The pair waited most of their careers to become a mature duo, sufficient unto themselves and their audiences, really catching fire at an engagement at Stockholm's Fasching Club in April 1980. This first volume of performances from that gig, which yielded music of high quality, is comprised of previously unissued material. It stands as a fitting memorial to the integrity and splendid musicianship of these markedly individual voices shaped during the infancy of modern jazz.