'Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression' celebrates iconic record label

A new book from author Richard Havers commemorates the 75th anniversary of Blue Note Records, a record label synonymous with jazz.

A new book from author Richard Havers, ‘Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression’, commemorates the 75th anniversary of Blue Note Records, an extraordinary American record label that has stayed true to its founders’ original written manifesto commitment.

Founded by American immigrants Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff who escaped German Nazi oppression in World War 2 together with American musician Max Margulis, Blue Note evolved from boogie-woogie and swing, through bebop, avant-garde, funk, fusion and soul to today’s eclectic roster.  Grammy award winners Gregory Porter, Robert Glasper and ground breaking drummer Chris 'Daddy' Dave are currently on the imprint along with returning greats like saxophonist Wayne Shorter, vibes player Bobby Hutcherson, saxophonist Charles Lloyd and guitarist Kenny Burrell.

Blue Note is not only known as the purveyor of, “The Finest in Jazz Since 1939”, but also recognised as the definitive home of jazz cool. Havers’ book pays respect to both the music and the label’s influence on classic graphic design including a compendium of artist Reid Miles’ famous album covers, amongst over 600 illustrations. 

The widely used photographs of Francis Wolff were usually tightly cropped for publication. Many now appear in full unedited form along with plenty of previously unreleased archive material. Blue Note supremo Don Was told Chris Philips, “you can discover for example on ‘Blue Train’, John Coltrane is not licking the reed to the saxophone but in fact eating a lollipop!” 

‘Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression’ beautifully documents Blue Note’s momentous contribution to jazz, art and revolutionising of the music business. It's released now as a 400 page hard cover, with forewords by Don Was, Wayne Shorter and Robert Glasper. published by Thames & Hudson and available through Amazon.co.uk.

You can also enter our competition to win a copy here. Hear Ricahrd Havers in conversation with Blue Note supremo Don Was at London Soutbank Centre as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival on November 22nd at 6pm. Click here for details.

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