Born: November 3, 1926 | Died: April 18, 2001 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Billy Mitchell was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.
Mitchell was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Known for his close association with fellow Detroit based player Thad Jones and work with a variety of big bands including Woody Herman's when he replaced Gene Ammons. In 1949 Mitchell recorded with the Milt Buckner band, and from 1956 to 1957 he played with Dizzy Gillespie in his big band.
From 1957 until 1961 and from 1966 to 1967 Mitchell played with Count Basie, having replaced Lockjaw Davis. In the early 1960s he co-led a group with Al Grey, and also served as musical director to Stevie Wonder for a short time during this period. Mitchell was an exponent of hard-driving post-bop. He died in Rockville Centre, NY,
He is not to be confused with another Billy Mitchell, a jazz-piano keyboardist whose career was most notably with Optimism Records in the 1980s.