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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

Red Mitchell and Warne Marsh had a series of engagements in Scandinavia during April of 1980. On the 18th and 19th of April they were playing at the Fasching Club in Stockholm where these two CD’s were recorded. The combination of tenorsaxophone and bass were rare but it worked out very good. As Mitchell observed, a duo is the smallest group you can get. "When I layed out it’s obvious that Warne doesn’t need a bass player.He can play all by himself, he can play all the chords, all the rhythms, he can play the bass lines and he certainly knows the melodies".