Right in time for Jazz Appreciation Month the Blue Note LP series continues on with five new titles. During the Blue Note 75th anniversary celebration the label released 100 essential Blue Note LPs and asked New York Timesreaders what titles they'd like to see make the list. Five new reissues were hand-selected by Blue Note President, Don Was, based on New York Times reader recommendations including Blue Mitchell's The Thing To Do.
One of the most soulful of all trumpeters, Blue Mitchell could identify himself with just two notes. Mitchell learned a bit about soul when playing with R&B bands in the 1950s and quite a lot more during his six years as a member of the Horace Silver Quintet. When he left Silver, he took the pianist's band with him including tenor-saxophonistJunior Cook, filling in Silver's spot with a youngster named Chick Corea.
On The Thing To Do, the greatest of all Blue Mitchell recordings, the band introduces the very catchy "Fungii Mama," a true Blue Note gem. Other songs by Joe Henderson ("Step Lightly"), Jimmy Heath and Corea are prime hard bop that are filled with enthusiastic ensembles and solos that are direct and exciting. The Thing To Do is not only one of the finest recordings of 1964 but one of the most memorable Blue Note recordings of the era, and it shows that Blue Mitchell was the king of the soul jazz trumpet.
1. Fungii Mama
2. Mona's Mood
3. The Thing To Do
4. Step Lightly
5. Chick's Tune