Keith (Red) Mitchell

Jazz bassist Keith (Red) Mitchell died Nov. 8 of a heart attack and stroke in Oregon. He was 65.

Mitchell was a pianist who switched to double bass as an Army musician in Germany.

Mitchell played with Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holliday, Red Norvo and Hampton Hawes, made numerous solo recordings and also worked as a studio musician on films like “I Want to Live.”

In 1968 he moved to Europe. He wanted a more comfortable living than he was earning touring with Gillespie, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy had soured him on the U.S.

“I found less racism, less nationalism, less sexism, less ageism” in Stockholm and Copenhagen, he once said.

Mitchell remained a leading jazz artist, returning to America about twice a year to perform and record.

He is survived by his wife, Diane; his mother, brother, a son, two sons from his wife’s previous marriage and two grandchildren.

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