Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blue Note

Ahh, blue note. Possibly the single most famous label in Jazz, and home to many great artists over the years. Almost as famous as the music was the sleeve art, produced by and large under the direction of Reid Miles. A great selection of sleeves can be found here, and a selection of my own here.

I'm currently stuck between these two outstanding records...

They're both in a very similar style and feature almost the same personnel - the front line of Freddie Hubbard and Tina Brooks is unchanged on both sessions. These two were recorded only about a week apart in June 1960, and it shows, in the music as well as the catalogue numbers. They're both in the classic hard-bop mould, with impeccable soloing from both Hubbard and Brooks throughout. The pieces are generally taken at a fast tempo with a swinging rhythm section, although things do slow down a little from time to time, and another couple of tracks feature the latin rhythms that were so popular at that time.

What's more, they're both available on CD too, as well as reissue vinyl like my copies (200g vinyl!). You can read about them both on the current Blue Note site, here's a link for the Hubbard and here's another for the Brooks.

You would not believe how much difficulty I've had finding information about Reid Miles, but this article on Blue Note's influence on design fills in a little background on the man.

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