Personnel: Red Mitchell, James Clay, Lorraine Geller, Billy Higgins.
Bassist Red Mitchell, who had led two fairly obscure sessions for Bethlehem in 1955, came up with a gem on his lone Contemporary set as a leader (which has been reissued as this CD). Based in Los Angeles at the time, Mitchell utilized pianist Lorraine Geller and two up-and-coming players: James Clay (who splits his time between tenor and flute) and, in one of his first recording sessions, drummer Billy Higgins. The quartet performs then-recent tunes by Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins and Clifford Brown ("Sandu"), a pair of Mitchell originals, "Scrapple From the Apple" and "Cheek to Cheek." Despite Higgins' and (to a lesser extent) Clay's connections with Ornette Coleman, the music is strictly high-quality modern mainstream bop of the era. Easily recommended to collectors of straight-ahead jazz. ~ Scott Yanow
Down Beat (3/93, p.37) - 4.5 Stars - Very Good Plus - "...a full-blown if less fleshy voice, still instantly recognizable, heard in fine fettle...it's amazing how light, happy, and lean [he] sounded then..."
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