Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Blue Note Records, the world’s most respected and longest-running Jazz label, is being commemorated for its 75th Anniversary throughout 2014 and beyond with a broad range of special releases and events. Blue Note is pleased to announce new Blue Note Select collections for Clifford Brown, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, each with original recordings sequenced as they were first released on 10-inch or 78 RPM singles (a departure from previous reissues, which have used recording chronology or later 12-inch versions of the albums for their sequences). Each Blue Note Select collection will be presented in special book-style packaging with a new essay, Francis Wolff session photos, original album art and other details. Miles Davis Take Off: The Complete Blue Note Albums is available beginning today in 2CD and digital packages, Clifford Brown Brownie Speaks: The Complete Blue Note Recordings will be released June 10 in 3CD and digital packages, and John Coltrane & Friends Sideman: Trane’s Blue Note Sessions will be released July 15 in 3CD and digital packages. Thelonious Monk ‘Round Midnight: The Complete Blue Note Recordings will be released this fall in 2CD and digital packages.

Miles Davis / Take Off: The Complete Blue Note Albums (2CD; digital)
A new, Miles Davis Estate-approved collection of Davis' three Blue Note 10-inch albums plus all alternate takes issued on subsequent 12-inch albums and CD reissues: a total of 26 tracks recorded for Blue Note Records on three dates in 1952, ’53 and ’54. This is the first time Davis’ 10-inch albums – Young Man With A Horn, Miles Davis Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 – have been issued in their original sequence since the early 1950s. The book-style packaging includes a 32-page booklet with an essay by respected jazz writer Kirk Silsbee, and other elements as noted.

Clifford Brown / Brownie Speaks: The Complete Blue Note Recordings (3CD; digital)
Documenting when trumpeter Clifford Brown was on the rise, the new collection covers his three 10-inch albums from 1953 – recorded with J.J. Johnson (Jay Jay Johnson with Clifford Brown), Lou Donaldson (New Faces New Sounds) and his own sextet (New Star On The Horizon) – plus legendary live Birdland recordings headlined by Art Blakey, in which Brown is featured along with Donaldson and pianist Horace Silver. While this collection presents the original 10-inch album sequences for the first time since the mid-1950s, the Birdland shows are presented in their original performance sequence for the first time ever. The book-style package includes a 34-page booklet with an essay by Kirk Silsbee, and other elements as noted.

John Coltrane & Friends / Sideman: Trane’s Blue Note Sessions (3CD; digital)
A collection of the legendary saxophonist’s sideman sessions for Blue Note Records from 1956-1957, when Coltrane was a regular member of the Miles Davis Quintet and played with pianist Thelonious Monk. This set, conceived by former Blue Note Records president Bruce Lundvall, marks the first time Coltrane’s sideman sessions for Blue Note have been collected in one place; albums include recordings led by Paul Chambers (Chambers’ Music, a.k.a. High Step, and Whims of Chambers), Johnny Griffin (A Blowing Session) and Sonny Clark (Sonny’s Crib). The entire set will be in original Blue Note mono, with the mono version of Clark’s album on CD for the first time. The book-style package includes a 34-page booklet with an essay by author and educator Ashley Kahn, and other elements as noted.

Thelonious Monk: ‘Round Midnight: The Complete Blue Note Recordings (2CD; digital)
Monk’s first recordings in the late 1940s were for Blue Note Records, and they signaled a new kind of Blue Note, as the label was evolving from an outlet for boogie woogie and old time jazz into a flag-waver for hard bop. These recordings, which include the first version of Monk’s classic composition, “'Round Midnight” (originally known as "'Round About Midnight"), were released on a series of fifteen 78 RPM singles. Later, Monk’s sessions were re-compiled on 10-inch and 12-inch LPs, and this collection will present for the first time Monk’s Blue Note recordings in their original 78 RPM sequence of release, adding as bonus tracks the alternate takes that appeared on later LP and CD releases. In addition, ’Round Midnight includes nine tracks not available on any current reissues of Monk’s albums.

On March 25, Blue Note/UMe launched an extensive 100-album vinyl reissue initiative with five classic titles (Art Blakey Free For All, John Coltrane Blue Train, Eric Dolphy Out To Lunch, Wayne Shorter Speak No Evil, and Larry Young Unity). Five more classic LPs were released in April (Ornette Coleman At The “Golden Circle” Stockholm, Vol. 1, Herbie Hancock Maiden Voyage, Sonny Rollins A Night At The Village Vanguard, Cannonball Adderley Somethin’ Else, and Dexter Gordon Our Man In Paris). The vinyl series continues this month with the May 27 release of Grant Green Idle Moments, Hank Mobley Soul Station, Madlib Shades Of Blue, Horace Silver Song For My Father, and McCoy Tyner The Real McCoy. The vinyl releases are set to continue monthly and also include modern classics from Blue Note’s recent catalog such as Joe Lovano Quartets: Live At The Village Vanguard, Jason Moran Soundtrack To Human Motion, Terence Blanchard Flow, Medeski Martin & Wood Combustication, and Cassandra Wilson Traveling Miles. Click here for the full list of vinyl releases.

On April 29, Blue Note/UMe released a remastered and expanded 20th anniversary edition of Cassandra Wilson's landmark album Blue Light ‘Til Dawn. Wilson’s groundbreaking Blue Note album helped to define a new style of jazz and earned her the title of "America's best singer" from Time magazine. Supervised by original producer Craig Street, the new edition includes three previously unreleased live recordings from Wilson’s 1994 tour.

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