Blue Mitchell & Junior Cook Quintet Sessions The Cup Bearers / Junior s Cookin2 LPs on 1 CD 24 BIT DIGITALLY REMASTERED STEREO Note: Since the maximum playing time of a CD is 80 minutes, it has been necessary to leave out the track Why Do I Love You? from Blue Mitchell s The Cup Bearers. It has been added as a bonus track on the CD Blue Mitchell and Orchestra (FSR-790) As befitting two who were to be key members of the early 1960s Horace Silver Quintet, Richard Allen (Blue) Mitchell (1930-1979) and Herman (Junior) Cook (1934-1992) were among the finer exponents of the hard bop school of the time. Equally fittingly, when they made Cook s Junior Cookin and Mitchell s The Cup Bearers together, they used Silver s rhythm section, minus the man himself, whose place was taken by Dolo Coker alternating with Ronnie Mathews on the former, and by Cedar Walton on the latter. And unsurprisingly, the results, honest, forthright and inventive, possessed a hard-swinging unity that satisfies to this day. That unity was emphasized by contrasting characteristics of the two Florida-born leaders. While both were powerful soloists, strong and individual, Mitchell was perhaps the more lyrical of the two, his work expressed with a lovely singing tone, while Cook s personal synthesis of several postbop tenor styles produced a more direct and heated player. Buttressed by the well-schooled, superior talents of Coker and Mathews, and the marvelous Walton in a thoroughly sympathetic rhythm section completed by Gene Taylor and Roy Brooks, the mixture gelled emphatically.