Personnel: Michael Dosco, Lee Ritenour (guitar); James Gadson (drums); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion).
Recording information: ABC Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA (1977); The Burbank Studios, Burbank, CA (1977); ABC Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA (1978); The Burbank Studios, Burbank, CA (1978).
Arranger: McKinley Mitchell.
This two-fer combines a pair of trumpeter Blue Mitchell's late-career albums for the Impulse! label: 1977's African Violet and Summer Soft. A consummate hard bopper, Mitchell experimented with soul- and funk-jazz as the '70s wore on and these albums are no exception. Funky but lyrical, muscular yet still swinging with a modern jazz intensity, these albums feature Mitchell playing against small as well as large ensembles, including orchestral strings on African Violet. Reflecting the somewhat commercial approach to many jazz productions of the time with electric guitars and synthesizers in the mix, they are nonetheless worthy, hard to find recordings and it's great to have them together on one disc. ~ Matt Collar