Pianists and label mates Robert Glasper and Jason Moran will play together at an evening celebrating 75 years of the iconic Blue Note Record label.
On Saturday 22nd November at the Royal Festival Hall, Blue Note recording artists, pianists Robert Glasper and Jason Moran, will play together at an evening celebrating 75 years of this iconic label. The night will be one of the major dates of the EFG London Jazz Festival. The second half will see Glasper joined by Blue Note’s front line stars including trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, bassist Derrick Hodge, drummer Kendrick Scott, guitarist Lionel Loueke from Benin and saxophonist Marcus Strickland.
Earlier in the evening from 6pm, the label’s president Don Was talks to author Richard Havers about all things Blue Note. Havers is about to release his new book ‘Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression’ on November 4th worldwide to commemorate the 75th anniversary.
In January 1939 German immigrant and passionate jazz fan Alfred Lion, produced his very first session in New York City. Since then his label, Blue Note Records, has traced the entire history of the music from Hot Jazz and Boogie Woogie through Bop, Soul Jazz, Avant-Garde, and Fusion. In the mid 1950s the label employed artist Reid Miles who produced some of the finest and most iconic album covers in recorded music. They often featured the photography of co-founder Francis Wolff documenting musicians at work in the studio. These covers are regarded as just as influential in terms of graphic design as the music was to the genre of jazz. Closely associated to the label is legendary recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder, regarded as one of the most important in music history. Van Gelder produced thousands of sessions in his career, for some of the greatest names in jazz, including Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Donald Byrd, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, and countless others. To this day devout vinyl collectors actively seek out his original Blue Note pressings, with his signature famously embossed into the wax.
Robert Glasper has recently released two volumes of his ‘Black Radio’ project for Blue Note, winning ‘Best R&B Album’ at the Grammys for Volume 1. Jason Moran’s latest Blue Note album is a collaboration with bassist Meshell Ndegeocello called ‘All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller’, in which they reimagine Waller’s music in a contemporary and soulful soundscape.
This year the EFG London Jazz Festival is giving major support to this landmark anniversary with performances reflecting Blue Note’s illustrious history, it’s future, films and more. For full details of this concert click here.