Ultimately, 100 of its essential albums will be released on vinyl.
The 75th Anniversary of Blue Note, the longest-running jazz label in the world, is being commemorated throughout 2014 and beyond with a broad range of special releases and events.
The vinyl reissue series of 100 essential remastered jazz albums spans both the classic and modern eras of the label.
The series will launch on April 4 with five iconic LPs: Art Blakey’s Free For All, John Coltrane’s Blue Train, Eric Dolphy’s Out To Lunch, Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil and Larry Young’s Unity.
And on March 25, 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, featuring a Q&A with Blue Note Records President Don Was.
Blue Note 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. The label traces through 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.
The vinyl releases are set to continue monthly and will also include modern classics from Blue Note’s recent catalogue such as Joe Lovano Quartet’s Live At The Village Vanguard, Jason Moran’s Soundtrack To Human Motion, Terence Blanchard’s Flow, Medeski Martin & Wood’s Combustication, and Cassandra Wilson’s 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 catalogue 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 catalogue should be readily available at a low cost, featuring high quality pressings and authentic reproductions of Blue Note’s iconic packaging. Although this programme begins in celebration of Blue Note’s 75th Anniversary, our catalogue runs so deep that we will faithfully be reissuing five albums a month for many years to come!”
On March 21, Blue Note will release a new 2CD collection of 22 stellar tracks spanning the label’s history, Best Of Blue Note Icon, and for Record Store Day in April, it 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 catalogue releases, including a 75-track digital bundle spanning Blue Note’s entire history, will be announced shortly.