THE FINEST IN JAZZ SINCE 1939
LEGACY OF LEGENDARY JAZZ LABEL WILL BE HONOURED WITH SEVERAL NEW VINYL SERIES, A DOCUMENTARY FILM, SPECIAL LIVE EVENTS, ART PRINTS OF CLASSIC BLUE NOTE IMAGERY, BRANDED APPAREL, THE BLUE NOTE REVIEW VINYL BOXSET SERIES & MORE
04 January 2019 (Toronto, ON) - 80 years ago on January 6, 1939, a German immigrant and passionate Jazz fan named Alfred Lion produced his first recording session in New York City with two Boogie Woogie pianists, founding what would become the most-respected and longest-running Jazz label in the world. Blue Note Records has gone on to represent The Finest In Jazz, tracing the entire history of the music from Hot Jazz, Boogie Woogie, and Swing, through Bebop, Hard Bop, Post-Bop, Soul Jazz, Avant-Garde, and Fusion, and—after being relaunched by Bruce Lundvall in 1984—has remained the leading label dedicated to documenting today’s vibrant and creatively thriving Jazz scene under the leadership of current President Don Was who took the helm in 2012.
A special edition of The Blue Note Monthly playlist on Apple Music and Spotify honours the legendary label’s legacy with an overview of the catalogue beginning with that very first session featuring Albert Ammons and including the label’s first “hit” (a 1939 recording of “Summertime” by Sidney Bechet), timeless classics like John Coltrane’s “Blue Train” and “Moanin’” by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, and tracks from their current roster including Charles Lloyd, Ambrose Akinmusire, Brian Blade, Terence Blanchard, Robert Glasper, Norah Jones, Gregory Porter, and Kandace Springs.
Throughout 2019, Blue Note Records will be celebrating their 80th Anniversary with vinyl catalogue reissues, the Blue Note Review boxset subscription series, a documentary film, live events, branded apparel, art prints of classic Blue Note imagery, streaming initiatives, and more. Highlights of the year will include:
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It took the joining of many natural forces to create and define one of the greatest Jazz labels there has ever been: Jazz-loving German immigrants on the run from Nazism (Alfred Lion & Francis Wolff), a New Jersey optometrist moonlighting as a recording engineer (Rudy Van Gelder), a classical music-loving commercial designer (Reid Miles), and the most incredible musicians that have ever walked the earth. The elements that each brought to the table—boundless passion and impeccable A&R instincts, elegant and insightful photography, sterling sound quality, strikingly original cover artwork, and consistently transcendent music—were all essential to the label's early success. Together they created a vivid Blue Note aesthetic. The whole could not have existed without each of the parts.
Blue Note’s legendary catalogue traces the entire history of the music from Hot Jazz, Boogie Woogie, and Swing, through Bebop, Hard Bop, Post-Bop, Soul Jazz, Avant-Garde, and Fusion, and into the diverse and vibrant sounds of today. The artists Blue Note recorded represent the pillars of Jazz history: Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Jimmy Smith, Dexter Gordon, Grant Green, Lou Donaldson, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, and many more.
After a brief dormancy from 1981-1984 during which producer/historian Michael Cuscuna kept the label’s legacy alive with a series of reissues on EMI, Blue Note returned reinvigorated by the leadership of Bruce Lundvall and has since established itself as the most-respected and longest-running Jazz label in the world, remaining home to some of the most prominent stars and cutting-edge innovators in Jazz while at the same time, broadening its horizons to include quality music in many genres. During Lundvall’s 30-year tenure, Blue Note remained a haven for the most creative voices in Jazz and also had its share of commercial successes from Bobby McFerrin, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Us3, Norah Jones, Al Green, Amos Lee, Medeski Martin & Wood, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis.
The same must be said of Don Was, the consummate music man who joined Blue Note in 2011 as Chief Creative Officer and became President of the label in 2012. With Was at the helm, Blue Note has renewed its dedication to Lion’s original vision that “any particular style of playing which represents an authentic way of musical feeling is genuine expression.” Lion’s words still ring true and provide a blueprint that includes Robert Glasper’s visionary melding of Jazz, R&B, and Hip-Hop; eclectic singers from Norah Jones to Gregory Porter to Kandace Springs; and the full spectrum of instrumental Jazz artists from legends like Wayne Shorter, Charles Lloyd, and Dr. Lonnie Smith to future legends including Ambrose Akinmusire, James Francies, and Joel Ross. Blue Note Records is one of the flagship labels of the Capitol Music Group and Universal Music Group.
Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes trailer: https://bluenote.lnk.to/BeyondTheNotes-trailer
Vox: The Greatest Album Covers Of Jazz: https://bluenote.lnk.to/VoxGreatestAlbumCoversOfJazz
Blue Note images for press use: https://umusic.box.com/s/g4zm2kabm6dtwjt6sag318npf4t2g1qn
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