Personnel: Blue Mitchell (trumpet); Blue Mitchell; Gene Taylor (bass instrument); Aloysius Foster, Al Foster (drums); Junior Cook (tenor saxophone); Chick Corea (piano).
Audio Remasterer: Rudy Van Gelder.
Liner Note Authors: Ira Gitler; Bob Blumenthal.
Recording information: New York, NY (07/30/1964); Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (07/30/1964).
Photographer: Francis Wolff.
Trumpeter Blue Mitchell is often overlooked, despite the fact that he was a highly gifted jazz improviser. Hopefully, this 2004 remastering will set the record straight about Mitchell's legacy. Featuring a young Chick Corea on piano, and tenor saxophonist Junior Cook (best known for his work with Horace Silver), THE THING TO DO stands out as one of Mitchell's finest albums.
Mitchell's group is tight yet relaxed, and each musician swings with authority throughout. This record features the premiere of "Fungii Mama," a Caribbean-influenced tune that, to this day, remains Mitchell's best-known composition. This is followed by two hard-grooving Jimmy Heath tunes, a bluesy Joe Henderson piece, and an absolutely burning version of "Chick's Tune," which is a clever reworking of the standard "You Stepped Out of a Dream." Fans of drummer Al Foster should note that this is his studio debut, though you wouldn't know it; Foster plays with the skill and confidence of a veteran on all five tracks.