Robert Mitchell is an award-winning pianist, keyboard player, composer, songwriter, poet, and author. At the Vortex Robert Mitchell presents his new CD, “The Rainbow Mountain/Can We Care”. This is his 10th album and his second, after “The Glimpse”, piano solo recording. While “The Glimpse” (2013, Whirlwind Recordings) focused on Mitchell’s fascination with a number of great pianists who have defined left hand only composition, teaching and performance, alongside left hand cultural connotations, “The Rainbow…” explores these ideas furthered by his experiences and music making since, in a live, long, improvised set. He will perform original music, improvisation, left hand only music and some music by several legends. The album launch will take place at Hebden Piano Festival in April 2020. Simultaneously, Robert will launch his second volume of poetry “City Of Sanctuary”.
Robert is proud to have been a Steinway artist for a decade. Last year he was MD on the successful BBC4 television programme ‘Jazz 625 Live: For One Night Only’. He has played with Billy Harper, Greg Osby, Courtney Pine CBE, Alicia Olatuja, Orphy Robinson, Steve Coleman, Phil Ranelin, Omar Puente, Ernesto Simpson, Dayme Arocena, Jason Rebello, Shirley Smart, Basement Jaxx, Dub Colossus, Daniel Casimir, Joshua Redman, Jacqui Dankworth MBE, and many others. He leads the bands Epiphany3, Panacea, and True Think. He had works performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and the Emulsion Sinfonietta, amongst others.
In Robert Mitchell’s words: I have long admired this approach to pianistic expression. (…) The further I have spent in reverence of a number of piano icons in Jazz and Improvised music – the more I consider this to be a rite of passage. Especially since the likes of Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock (together or separately), Keith Jarrett, Marilyn Crispell, Keith Tippett, Borah Bergman, and several others have set such high standards and such a rewarding legacy. It demands a deep focus from practitioner and listener especially as we step outside of the 3.5min pop song, the 8-10min small Jazz group tune, the big band medley, the classical piano sonatas (unless a single movement from Scriabin to Sorabji and beyond) and into a different global stratosphere.
The astonishing Robert Mitchell, familiar as the pianist and MD for the recent ‘BBC Four celebrates Jazz 625 For One Night Only’, took the keyboard apart in every sense of the word. He uses both hands and sometimes cross-hands with equal force to build solos of unbelievable depth and complexity. Urged on by his fellow players and the awe-struck audience, his playing became ever more audacious as the evening progressed. thejazzmann.com
Mitchell is a lyricist and a thinker, and British jazz is far richer for his presence – Mike Butler
…a very important influential musician – Gilles Peterson
Mitchell is possessed of possibly the most prodigious technique I’ve heard in any pianoman and he used it to the full – Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here