Richard Allen “Blue” Mitchell (March 13, 1930 – May 21, 1979) was an American Jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, rock and funk trumpeter, and composer, who recorded many albums as leader and sideman for Riverside, Blue Note and Mainstream Records.
Mitchell was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He began playing trumpet in high school, where he acquired his nickname, Blue.
After high school he played in the rhythm and blues ensembles of Paul Williams, Earl Bostic, and Chuck Willis. After returning to Miami he was noticed by Cannonball Adderley, with whom he recorded for Riverside Records in New York in 1958.
He then joined the Horace Silver Quintet, playing with tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor and drummer Roy Brooks. Mitchell stayed with Silver’s group until the band’s break-up in 1964, after which he formed a group with members from the Silver quintet, substituting the young pianist Chick Corea for Silver and replacing Brooks, who had fallen ill, with drummer Al Foster. This group produced a number of records for Blue Note. It disbanded in 1969, after which Mitchell joined and toured with Ray Charles until 1971.