256+ LAME VBR
Vinyl rip & scans from Mainstream MRL 315
Some people refer to this LP as "Soul Village" but that's only the name of the first track on side A. I'd have to say the album is called "Blue Mitchell" since it's the only title on the cover, spine and labels. It is also sometimes confused with the 1963 album on Blue Note which was also eponymous, but the Mainstream MRL series started seven years later in '70. However, this LP does sound more like his hard bop heyday than the two preceding Blue Notes, Bantu Village and Collision in Black (which I might post in the near future if no one beats me to it).
The Mainstream Years
After this LP, Blue strayed from his hard bop formula for a while and went into a much more bluesy style of jazz-funk which became the hallmark of his Mainstream and, to a lesser extent, his more overtly commercial RCA years (check out My Jazz World for pretty much the bulk of his post-Mainstream output). I love Mitchell's Mainstream sound and got turned on to him early through a tape I picked up in Camden Market back in '92 (which also had 2 tracks that just popped up on the new never enough rhodes compilation). I still have my copies of Blue's Blues, Graffiti Blues and Last Tango = Blues so only need Vital Blue and Many Shades of Blue to complete the set. Other folks aren't so crazy about Mitchell's mid-70s oeuvre but most are forgiving when it comes to his solos and most of the individual performances.
Blue Mitchell - Trumpet
Walter Bishop, Jr. - Piano
Jimmy Forrest - Tenor
Doug Sides - Drums
Larry Gales - Bass
"In general, Blue Mitchell's five Mainstream albums from 1971-74 are not on the same level as his best Blue Notes, but they tend to be worthwhile. His debut for Mainstream features the trumpeter's regular group of 1971, a quintet with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest (who had just come out of retirement), pianist Walter Bishop, Jr., bassist Larry Gales and drummer Doug Sides. On the LP, they play a pair of originals: a piece by Mitchell and Bishop and Benny Golson's "Are You Real" with swing and a bit of soul."
Killer set with appeal for both purists and casual jazz listeners due to the chemistry between Silver sidemen Mitchell and Bishop and the fact Forrest, plucked fresh out of retirement, had something to prove. Currently out of print, not yet reissued and not so easy to find. Except for readers of Soundological, that is. You can get a copy HERE or HERE.