The Blue Note Record label needs little introduction. Musically, graphically and sonically iconic, the label created and defined the golden age of modern jazz on record. Founded in 1939 by German émigré Alfred Lion, the label's roster of artists is a litany of giants – Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock and many more. With peerless musicians in the grooves, the legendary Rudy Van Gelder behind the boards, and graphic design genius Reid Miles creating emblematic artwork for every release, Blue Note – 'the Cadillac of the jazz lines' – was outstanding in every way.
Volume 9 of Jazzman's Spiritual Jazz series takes a close look at the deeper side of Blue Note – from the experimental avant-garde explored by younger musicians such as Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson and Pete La Roca, to the exciting new developments in modal sounds put forward by stalwarts Hank Mobley, Jackie McLean and Duke Pearson. The music we have selected shows how musicians working with the label responded to a period of dramatic social and sonic change, charting the route toward the esoteric and spiritualised sounds that would dominate the deepest jazz of the 1970s.
As ever, Blue Note had lit the path, and this new Spiritual Jazz collection shows that the progressive and underground jazz sound of the 1960s was not only the preserve of obscure artists and private pressings. Blue spirits and heavy sounds on Blue Note – the finest in jazz since 1939, brought to you by Jazzman.