Blue Note Records Continues 75th Anniversary Celebrations
100 ESSENTIAL BLUE NOTE ALBUMS TO BE REISSUED ON VINYL BEGINNING MARCH 25 WITH ICONIC LPS BY ART BLAKEY, JOHN COLTRANE, ERIC DOLPHY, WAYNE SHORTER, AND LARRY YOUNG
GRAMMY MUSEUM EXHIBITION “BLUE NOTE RECORDS: THE FINEST IN JAZZ” SET TO OPEN MARCH 25 IN LOS ANGELES WITH Q&A EVENT FEATURING LABEL PRESIDENT DON WAS
The 75th Anniversary of Blue Note Records, the most-respected and longest-running Jazz label in the world, is being commemorated throughout 2014 and beyond with a broad range of special releases and events. Blue Note is pleased to announce a new vinyl reissue series of 100 essential remastered Jazz albums spanning both the classic and modern eras of the label. The series will launch on March 25 with five iconic LPs: Art Blakey Free For All, John Coltrane Blue Train, Eric Dolphy Out To Lunch, Wayne Shorter Speak No Evil, and Larry Young Unity. On the same date, the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles will launch Blue Note Records: The Finest In Jazz, a one-of-a-kind exhibit offering visitors an in-depth look at the legendary record label. On the evening of March 25, the museum will host a special public event, “An Evening With Blue Note Records,” featuring a Q&A with Blue Note Records President Don Was.
Blue Note Records was founded on January 6, 1939, when a German immigrant and passionate Jazz fan named Alfred Lion produced his first recording session in New York City. Blue Note 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 into Jazz’s numerous modern day incarnations under the leadership of Bruce Lundvall, who revived Blue Note in 1984, and the label’s current President, Don Was, who took the helm in 2012.
GRAMMY MUSEUM EXHIBITION AND LAUNCH EVENT DETAILS
On March 25, The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles will unveil Blue Note Records: The Finest In Jazz. Located in the Mike Curb Gallery on the Museum’s fourth floor, this one-of-a-kind exhibit will offer visitors an in-depth look at the legendary record label through music, album artwork, photographs, artifacts, interviews and more.
On the evening of March 25, the museum will launch the exhibit with a special public event, “An Evening With Blue Note Records,” a Q&A with Blue Note President Don Was, hosted by the museum’s executive director, Bob Santelli, and the curator of the exhibit, Nwaka Onwusa, in the museum’s Clive Davis Theater.
BLUE NOTE RECORDS 75TH ANNIVERSARY VINYL INITIATIVE
Blue Note will commence an extensive 100-album vinyl reissue initiative on March 25 with the release of five classic titles (Art Blakey Free For All, John Coltrane Blue Train, Eric Dolphy Out To Lunch, Wayne Shorter Speak No Evil, and Larry Young Unity). The vinyl releases are set to continue monthly and will also include modern classics from Blue Note’s recent catalog such as Joe Lovano Quartets: Live At The Village Vanguard, Jason Moran Soundtrack To Human Motion, Terence Blanchard Flow, Medeski Martin & Wood Combustication, and Cassandra Wilson Traveling Miles. Click here for the full list of vinyl releases.
Blue Note President Don Was says, “Two years ago, we began remastering the jewels of the Blue Note catalog in hi-def resolutions of 96k and 192k. In order to develop a guiding artistic philosophy for this delicate endeavor, we donned our lab coats, ran dozens of sonic experiments and carefully referenced every generation of our reissues. Ultimately, we decided that our goal would be to protect the original intentions of the artists, producers and engineers who made these records and that, in the case of pre-digital-era albums, these intentions were best represented by the sound and feel of their first-edition vinyl releases. Working with a team of dedicated and groovy engineers, we found a sound that both captured the feel of the original records while maintaining the depth and transparency of the master tapes... the new remasters are really cool!
While these new versions will become available in digital hi-def, CD and Mastered for iTunes formats, the allure of vinyl records is WAY too potent to ignore. This year, Blue Note - along with our friends at Universal Music Enterprises - is launching a major 75th Anniversary vinyl Initiative that is dedicated to the proposition that our catalog should be readily available at a low cost, featuring high quality pressings and authentic reproductions of Blue Note's iconic packaging. Although this program begins in celebration of Blue Note's 75th Anniversary, our catalog runs so deep that we will faithfully be reissuing five albums a month for many years to come!”
On March 11, Blue Note/UMe will release a new 2CD collection of 22 stellar tracks spanning the label’s history, Best of Blue Note ICON, including Sidney Bechet Quintet/“Summertime,” Thelonious Monk/“’Round About Midnight,” John Coltrane/“Blue Train,” Sonny Clark/“Cool Struttin’,” Lee Morgan/“Sidewinder,” Wayne Shorter/“Speak No Evil,” Norah Jones/“Cold Cold Heart,” and more.
For Record Store Day in April, Blue Note will also reissue the label’s first two releases as limited edition 12” vinyl: Meade “Lux” Lewis “Melancholy”/”Solitude” (BN1) and Albert Ammons “Boogie Woogie Stomp”/”Boogie Woogie Blues” (BN2). Other catalog releases, including a 75-track digital bundle spanning Blue Note’s entire history, will be announced shortly.
Blue Note continues to maintain an incomparable roster of current talent, and 2014 brings new releases from Takuya Kuroda (Rising Son, February 18), Ambrose Akinmusire (the imagined savior is far easier to paint, March 11), Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band (Landmarks, April 29), as well as artists beyond Jazz such as Rosanne Cash (The River & The Thread, January 14) and Benmont Tench (You Should Be So Lucky, February 18). Additional new releases will soon be announced from Jason Moran, José James, Joe Lovano/Dave Douglas Soundprints Quintet, and two Blue Note legends: Bobby Hutcherson in a quartet with David Sanborn, Joey DeFrancesco and Billy Hart, and Wayne Shorter whose return to Blue Note, Without A Net, figured prominently in several Best of 2013 lists.