Friday, March 27, 2009

I Heart Blue Note Records

[Editor's note: I'm double posting this at Star Maker Machine as part of their "Record Labels" theme week. If you've already seen this there, then just skip down to the bottom of this post where I've added one extra track. If you haven't been to Star Maker Machine lately, you should go check out the other "Record Labels" posts, covering labels such as Twin/Tone, Apple, and Revenant. And while we're talking about posts elsewhere, I think you'll like what's happening over at Groover's Paradise, which is my latest blogging endeavor.]

Blue Note Records
is one of the preeminent labels in jazz history, known mainly for its hard bop releases, a style that combined bebop with elements of soul and R&B. Blue Note recording artists include Lee Morgan, Jimmy Smith, Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, Eric Dolphy, Dexter Gordon, Horace Silver, and Donald Byrd.

As great as the music was, Blue Note is perhaps equally lauded for its contribution to the graphic arts. Cover artist Reid Miles developed a distinctive style that used black and white photographs with limited color palettes to great effect. There simply aren't any cooler album covers. See more here and here. Now enjoy some great jazz music!

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Moanin' (buy)

John Coltrane - Lazy Bird (buy)

Jimmy Smith - Back At The Chicken Shack (buy)

This last one's "hugely" angular, but it works, especially on a warm, rainy night:

Eric Dolphy - Stright Up And Down (buy)

What is your favorite Blue Note cover?


godoggo said...

Hey, I realize the topic's officially dead, but I just now thought of a drinking song that Carmen sang. Angel Eyes. So there you go.

godoggo said...

OK, the question. I just read it. Um, Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil has a pretty nice cover.

Ramone666 said...

Check out Cool Struttin´ by Sonny Clark and A Night At The Village Vanguard by Sonny Rollins. Beauties!

A Free Man said...

Me too.

Great post. I learned to love jazz via Blue Note.