Tag Archives: blue note records

Sonny Rollins Volume One

At the end of 1956 Sonny Rollins ended his six-year period of recording at Prestige Records, and he proceeded to record prolifically for the next two years for a variety of labels. Rather than accept the advances against royalties arrangement of his Prestige contract, Rollins opted to be paid by the session, without royalty provisions. He recorded this way for Lester Koenig at Contemporary, Orrin Keepnews at Riverside, and Alfred Lion at Blue Note, as well as recording a variety of performances, both as leader and sideman, for EmArcy, Verve, and Atlantic. This period culminated in the famous vacation from recording that found Rollins practicing nightly on the George Washington Bridge.

Continue reading Sonny Rollins Volume One

Sam Rivers: Fuchsia Swing Song

In the autumn of 1964 tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers spent two months on tour with the Miles Davis quintet. This was the group that, with the addition of Wayne Shorter, would become known as Davis’ “Second Great Quintet.” Miles found the young tenor man to be too “out there” for his group, influenced as he was by avant-gardists such as Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, and Archie Shepp.

Continue reading Sam Rivers: Fuchsia Swing Song

Charlie Rouse: Bossa Nova Bacchanal

I love bossa jazz, but let’s face it, during the early 1960s there were so many instrumental boss nova albums cut that it’s sometimes hard to get enthusiastic when yet another surfaces from the back catalogues. Listeners really need to sit up and take notice of this reissue by tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, though. Bossa Nova Bacchanal is a real lost treasure.

Continue reading Charlie Rouse: Bossa Nova Bacchanal

Ike Quebec: Heavy Soul

Ike Quebec was a really great and sadly under-recorded tenor man of the Coleman Hawkins school, with nods to Ben Webster and Stan Getz as well. In the 1940s Quebec cut some 10 and 12-inch 78 rpm records for Blue Note, records that were quite popular in their day. By the mid-fifties, Quebec had virtually disappeared from the scene, at least partially because his 78 rpm sides were not available on the new LP format, and so very few young jazz fans had ever heard of him.

Continue reading Ike Quebec: Heavy Soul

Don Cherry: Symphony For Improvisers

Related: Don Cherry: Musician of the World

Trumpet player Don Cherry was pretty much Blue Note’s premiere find in the 60s avant-garde jazz sweepstakes. The label was a bit late to the party, and though they ended up releasing excellent recordings by formidable avant-garde names such as Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor, that was only after these musicians had already done groundbreaking work on other labels who proceeded to drop them eventually.

Continue reading Don Cherry: Symphony For Improvisers