Paul Mitchell was born in Atlanta in 1931 and during his high schoole tenure played alto horn in the school band. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Morris Brown College, playing french horn in the school´s concert band and trumpet in a jazz band. Three years in Army bands followed and it was only during this time that Paul beda,me interested in piano. After his discharge he worked as a band director iun The Atlanta Public Schools System for twelve years.
But he also moonlighted with local jazz groups as a pianist and organist. In 1961, he formed his first trio and played a local club for three years.
In March, 1964 the Atlanta Playboy Club opened with the Paul Mitchell Trio in the Living Room. The trio played there for three years. It was during this engagement the Paul was “discovered” and this recording was made.
Paul´s favorite piano player is Oscar Peterson and this hard swinging influence is readliy apparent. But Paul´s playing also encompasses a broad orchestral kind of pianistics rarely heard today. It evolved from his experience as a school band director.
“All day I was faced with Shostakovitch and Wagner,” Paul says, “and at night with playing jazz. So one carried over into the other”. (taken from the original liner notes)
And we hear pretty good piano jazz recordings played for clubs like the Atlanta Playoby Club
And I found a review from the Billboard magazin (July 6, 1968)
Layman Jackson (bass)
Paul Mitchell (piano)
Allen Murphy (drums)
01. Fly Me To The Moon (Howard) 6.02
02. Friday’s Child (Mitchell) 4.06
03. Hard Times (Mitchell) 3.54
04. See See Rider (Traditional) 3.35
05. But Not For Me (Gershwin) 3.34
06. Sandu (Brown) 4.21
07. No Greater Love (Maxwell/Meyer/Silver) 4.25
08. More (Oliviero/Newell/Ciorciolini) 4.27
09. Alone Together (Dietz/Schwartz) 5.08