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Can we talk about Red Mitchell?

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Bruce Lindfield, Dec 13, 2005.


  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I must say that Red Mitchell was the bassist who surprised me most - so I always expected what I heard of Le Faro, but nobody goes on about how good Red Mitchell was...

    I think it's also down to availability of recordings - so it's always been easy to hear the best of Scott Le Faro on many recordings, but there seem to be very few of Red Mitchell and mostly they are deleted.

    So - when I started buying Jazz CDs , I could get loads of Le Faro recordings - but none of Red Mitchell and it's only through discovering specialist internet retailers that I've been able to get those!! :meh:
     
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Well, I guess even Red can make a mistake here or there...


    ;):D
     
  3. Bruce, it's LaFaro not Le Faro. It's strange you can't find Reds stuff.. Red is one of the most prolific jazz bassists in recorded history. Try getting a bit more creative with your searches Bruce. On TBDB alone, search under Reds name and you should be rewarded...just some of my posts should yield you plenty. I hate to have you miss this stuff!
    For instance do a search under some other names like Hampton Hawes, Warne Marsh, Lee Konitz, Jim Hall, and also asearch on the Contemporary label, Pacific, and any other jazz type west coast labels
     
  4. Cold Aaron, very cold. Could it be you're not hearing what Red heard?
    I admit Ornette is a special guy. I did learn to like him.
    Actually, I figured If Red saw something there, there must be something and i'll be damned.......
     
  5. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I don't see how any jazz lover with modern ears could listen to those early Ornette records and not totally dig them. I started off on some of his later stuff and -- not being much of a guy for the free thing -- didn't dig it. But Pat Metheny's take on "Broadway Blues" -- geez, over 30 years ago now, I think -- opened my ears up for me.
     
  6. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Ahhh...both TB and Paul Warburton are back...all is again right with the world! :cool:

    As I continue to explore Scottie's work the impression I'm getting of him is that he was IMHO what exemplifies a great sideman in general and bassist in particular. He brought all of his chops and individual artistry to the gig, but stylistically was flexible and adaptable to the situation according to what the leader (and fellow sidemen) dictated. Admittedly there's a lot more of his work for me to get hipped to...having so far dug into the Bill Evans stuff and (thanks to Ed Fuqua's recommendation) the awesome "Arrival of Victor Feldman". Next up will be Ornette and Stan (recommendations for where to start with Getz?).

    One of the many tragic things about his early departure is that we never got to hear what he may have produced as a leader.

    Paul...I'm sure you have addressed this before, but I'm curious as to what Bill Evans asked of you when you played with him. Did he give you lots of direction, stylistically or otherwise, or were you given "free reign"? Did you ever discuss Scottie with him, and were you able to get the "inside scoop" on how the early trio developed?
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I have found some now - thanks to yours and others' recommendations on TB !! :)

    I was just saying that when I started collecting Jazz CDs there was no internet and I hadn't heard his name mentioned - so it really surprised me when I first got to hear him on CD!!

    Whereas people (CR reviewers,Jazz fans, teachers etc.) were always recommending Waltz for Debby and Village Vanguard etc. , so I wasn't so surprised that the bass playing was so good on these....if it wasn't for TB though, I might never have discovered Red Mitchell!! :eek:
     
  8. I don't want to take over this thread, so i'll just give a brief something. I got the call from Bill on the recomendation of the wonderful lady pianist Pat Moran. Scott did his first record with Pat...obviously, Bill had great respect for Pat....
    Bob Branstetter asked me to write a bit about all the same stuff that most cats ask me, including you,so in order to do this, i'm gonna ask Bob to send me the stuff I sent to him in short story form. I will then put some stuff together, including a few bad pictures taken at The Jazz Workshop in 1963.
    I'll then start a thread just for this junk without taking over anyone elses thread. It'll take some time, so bear with me.
    About your questions, all he had to say about Scotty was: "He was quite a guy."
    About the directional aspect....all he said was, after one tune
    he and I played at the rehearsal was: You got the feel just right. That was it!"
     
  9. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Thanks Paul...I'll be eagerly awaiting that thread! :cool:

    Man but those six little words said to you by Bill sure were "heavy". :D

    Now back to our regularly scheduled thread.
     
  10. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Even if you don't like Ornette, check out "Tomorrow Is The Question" for the bass solo on "Turnaround." Crank your stereo (or better yet, headphones) up, it's low in the mix.
    Did someone on here say something about Red Mitchell not having a visceral sound? Listen to this solo and say that again...
     
  11. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    A joke, a joke. To be honest, I really don't mind Ornette...and really haven't listened to enough of him. I'd actually really like to pick up Free Jazz to hear him playing with Scottie, to be honest.
     
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    FREE JAZZ can be a little daunting if you haven't listened to much Ornette. I'd recommend starting with the more "song based" quartet stuff.
     
  13. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    No, it's cool. I know you're joking, and even if not, I don't think everybody should like Ornette--heck, I don't like most of his stuff after those first few stunning years. I just wanted to point out that bass solo...just something about it. It was the thing that, when I heard it at the age of 20, I said "Wow. I want to make that sound with my fingers." (I, um, quickly learned that I would require a bass and some strings in addition to my fingers to do so...)
     
  14. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Will do!
    :)
     
  15. Don't forget...Red was tuning in fourths on that date with Ornette...thought you should know because sometimes Reds awesome playing is chalked up to the fifths tuning he later used. I've heard some cats say: Oh it's that fifth tuning is how he can do that **** Sorry, no excuses on this one. For me and Mr. Fuqua, some of Reds most satisfying playing was done on gut strings back in the Hampton Hawes days on the Contemporary label.
     
  16. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Well, why not! :)

    Someone else mentioned Scott playing with Hampton Hawes. Be sure to check out the For Real CD. Should be easy to find.
     
  17. anonymous8547j7d7b

    anonymous8547j7d7b Guest

    Jul 1, 2005
    I've not managed to find much Red Mitchell stuff until recently; but after Paul's list of Red-mentored cats something has fallen into place. I managed to get a lesson with Mike Richmond about 10 yrs ago. During that time we talked about bassists etc (Marc,Eddie,George Mraz etc). Guess who he told me to listen to? I think now I understand Mike's advice fully now. Thanks again, Paul & hurry up with the Bill Evans thread. C'mon, we waiting :hyper:
     
  18. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Presenting Red Mitchell is, I think, his first solo album. Very straight-ahead, playing four string upright. I would check all the Hampton Hawes CDs. I found these on Amazon.com and have a whole collection, including a later one where he played with Joe Pass.
     
  19. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I've been on the "Hunt for Red Mitchell" as well. There isn't much under his name. Mainly it's "Presenting...", "Red Mitchell", "Talking" that I've found. I'm still looking for used copy of "Hear Ye". Might have to buy it new.

    I did find alot of his playing with Hampton Hawes. I liked "Trio 1" alot. The only other Hawes stuff I have are the All Night Session volumes and those are ok.

    I would also look under Red Norvo. So far, my favorite Red Mitchell album has been "The Red Norvo Trios". He plays some tasty solos on it and I'm a big fan of Jimmy Raney and Tal Farlow to boot. I found it on vinyl and paid $4.50 for this two disc album. Whatta steal!
     
  20. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    "Presenting Red Mitchell" is just so good. Right at the end of the head of "I Thought of You"... it's one of those moments that I keep coming back to, and sometimes I listen to only those few seconds when I need a smile. It just feels so right when he doubles it up and the piano comes in. With Red Mitchell, I always feel like he's hugging the tune, rather than kicking its ass, even when he plays a smoking solo. I find his music highly relaxing.