'Hi-Heel Sneakers', by The Blue Mitchell Quintet
The first actual jazz recording date of Richard Allen Mitchell (1930-1979) came back in 1952 when he was called into a set led by Lou Donaldson, featuring Art Blakey, Percy Heath and Horace Silver. After that, Blue spent seven solid, highly productive years with Silver in what became one of the most swinging combos of that time. When Silver disbanded his quintet in early 1964 to form another, Blue stepped up to lead his own group. It was a natural move, since he, Cook, Taylor and Brooks had been making their own gigs on off nights, even while working with Silver. Shortly afterwards, Brooks became ill, and a fine replacement was found in the person of Al Foster.
After his quintet, Mitchell returned to popular music, recording soul/jazz albums and touring with Ray Charles and John Mayall. From 1974 he worked as a freelance in Los Angeles, and played as a soloist with Tony Bennett and Lena Horne. During his final years he recorded a number of disco/jazz albums and played in a bop quintet with Harold Land, before he died of cancer in 1979, aged 49.
Today’s song ‘Hi-Heel Sneakers’, from the 1965 album ‘Down With It!’, was written by Tommy Tucker, who had a #11 hit with it. It has been covered by more than 200 artists ever since and used for many movies (‘Quadrophenia’, ‘Lion Of Africa’, etc.) and television shows (‘Late Night With David Letterman’, ‘Rags To Riches’, etc.). The superb original can be heard here.
Blue Mitchell - Trumpet
Junior Cook - Tenor Saxophone
Chick Corea - Piano
Gene Taylor - Bass
Al Foster - Drums