Blue Mitchell: Down With it

Trumpeter Mitchell, tenorman Junior Cook and bassist Junior Cook had been members of Horace Silver’s quintet, with pianist Chick Corea and drummer Al Foster years before they cut this album in 1965. On funk tracks, “High Heeled Sneakers” and “March on Selma,” the group sounds, not surprisingly, like Horace’s.

Mitchell’s at the top of his game, producing a bright, attractive tone, building his spots nicely and improvising melodically meaty lines. Cook’s also inventive and vigorous, his style a synthesis of Coltrane and Rollins. The album contains some of Corea’s earliest recorded work. He impresses with his excellent technique, fluid phrasing and steady flow of ideas. Due to the context he sometimes sounds like Silver, but McCoy Tyner’s impact on him is also apparent.