One of the most important jazz label of the 50s/60s. Actual production also stretches toward various electro/remix stuff.
Activity: 1939-1965 (independent) 1965-1979 (as a subsidiary), then revived 1985-today (as a subsidiary)
Production type: original (plus a few recent reissues of subsidiary labels)
Founded by: Alfred Lion & Francis Wolff
Has/had subsidiaries: Capitol Jazz, Pacific Jazz and Roulette Jazz (as Blue Note is now the flagship EMI Group's jazz label)
- Sold to: Liberty Records (1965), which was bought by United Artists (1969), which was bought by EMI Group (1979)
- Top parent company: EMI Group
- Distributed by: Capitol/EMI
Catalog reissued by: Some things appear on Mosaic Records
The following detailed explanations are copied from Plosin:
"The Blue Note Modern Jazz Series began in late 1951 with the following 10" monaural LPs. Some of these LPs were later reissued as part of the Blue Note 1500 Series of 12" LPs. At first, recordings were made in various studios in New York (Reeves Sound Studio, WOR Studios, Apex Studios, Audio Video Studios). Beginning in October 1953, however, most Blue Note sessions took place in Rudy van Gelder's home studio in Hackensack, New Jersey. (Van Gelder moved the studio to Englewood Cliffs in early July 1959.) The sessions were produced by Alfred Lion and engineered by Van Gelder, and many LP covers featured photographs by Lion's childhood friend Francis Wolff.
Blue Note made the change to 12" LPs late in 1955. The Modern Jazz Series continued with the following 12" LPs. Most of these were issued in both monaural versions (BLP series) and artificial stereo versions (BST 81000 series). Beginning in 1956 with BLP 1509, Reid Miles designed most of the Blue Note LP covers. Together with Alfred Lion's production, Rudy van Gelder's engineering, and Frank Wolff's photography, Miles' designs defined the Blue Note look and sound. The Blue Note 4000 series began in the mid-1950s with many of the same artists. The 1500 series has been systematically reissued by Toshiba in Japan ("Blue Note Works 1500" series, 20-bit K2 CDs); the catalog numbers are TOCJ-1501, etc. In addition, originally unissued material from these late 50s dates was made available on Toshiba's 1600 series (20-bit K2 CDs).
Toshiba/Blue Note 1600 series
These CDs make available originally unissued material from the sessions which gave us the 1500 series of Blue Note LPs. They are manufactured by Toshiba and employ 20-bit, 88.2 KHz recording technology."
Catalog attempt at the remainder of http://wiki.musicbrainz.org/Jazz/Labels/BlueNote
The label was founded as Blue Note Records and is still called Blue Note Records.
Blue Note Records is an American jazz record label, established in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis. Francis Wolff became involved shortly afterwards. It derives its name from the characteristic "blue notes" of jazz and the blues.
Originally dedicated to recording traditional jazz and small group swing, from 1947 the label began to switch its attention to modern jazz. While the original company did not itself record many of the pioneers of bebop, significant exceptions are Thelonious Monk, Fats Navarro and Bud Powell.
Historically, Blue Note has principally been associated with the "hard bop" style of jazz (mixing bebop with other forms of music including soul, blues, rhythm and blues and gospel), but also recorded essential albums in the avant-garde and free styles of jazz. Horace Silver, Jimmy Smith, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey, Grant Green, Hank Mobley, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Hutcherson, and Jackie McLean were among the label's leading artists. During its heyday, the 1950s and 60s, the photography and graphic art of Reid Miles created a series of iconic album covers, often incorporating session photos by Wolff, which added to Blue Note's artistic reputation.
The label is currently owned by the Universal Music Group. In 2006 it was expanded to fill the role of an umbrella label group bringing together a wide variety of then EMI-owned labels and imprints specializing in the growing market segment of music for adults.