Jazz Birthday: Billy Mitchell (1926)

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Jazz birthdays recall creative and entrepreneurial accomplishments of jazz musicians, who loved the music, who worked hard to develop their individual talents, who produced and advanced the music, who struggled, who traveled to make a living, and who worked and created cooperatively without government direction, planning or subsidy, notwithstanding the presence of copyright in the music business. They illustrate one part of what human beings can accomplish if markets are free.

Billy Mitchell was a saxophonist in Dizzy Gillespie’s and Count Basie’s big bands. That tells you right off that he was top rate. He solos on this long version of “Cool Breeze” after Frank Rehak and Dizzy, and on the second of two charts played by the Basie band in 1960. The first is “Why Not? ” and the second is the Benny Carter tune “Vine Street Rumble ” from his “Kansas City Suite”.

6:12 am on November 4, 2012