Eighty years ago, a German immigrant and passionate jazz fan named Alfred Lion produced his…
Eighty years ago, a German immigrant and passionate jazz fan named Alfred Lion produced his first recording session in New York City with two boogie-woogie pianists, founding what would become the most respected and longest-running jazz label in the world: Blue Note Records.
The label's 80-year history is a remarkable one, spanning nearly the entire timeline of jazz and comprising almost all of its genres. A bebop and hard-bop mainstay during the 1950s and '60s, the album was relaunched by Bruce Lundvall in 1984 and devoted itself with renewed vigor to documenting today’s vibrant and creatively thriving jazz scene. Today, under the leadership of current president Don Was, the label has played host to an array of exciting, genre-crossing young artists like Robert Glasper, Ambrose Akinmusire and Norah Jones, ensuring that its future is a long and promising one.
The label will be celebrating its 80th anniversary throughout the year with a host of exclusive product launches, including a vinyl catalog reissues, a Blue Note Review boxset subscription series, a documentary film, live events, branded apparel, art prints of classic Blue Note imagery, streaming initiatives and more. Here at JAZZIZ, we decided to join in on the celebration by sharing a few of our favorite tracks, as chosen by our web editors Brian Zimmerman and Matt Micucci. Below, you'll find classic Blue Note tunes from almost every era of the label's existence, by some of the biggest names in jazz. They're in heavy rotation in our offices. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.