- Barry Kernfeld
- and Howard Rye
American record company. It was established in New York in 1939 by Alfred Lion, to record jazz; its earliest sessions produced records now acknowledged as classics, by such musicians as Sidney Bechet, Earl Hines, Albert Ammons and Meade ‘Lux’ Lewis. In the 1940s the company established an important catalogue of traditional jazz and swing, including recordings by James P. Johnson, Art Hodes and Sidney Bechet; Blue Note was among the earliest to record bop musicians, notably items by Thelonious Monk.
In the LP era the company concentrated on styles that were then contemporary, with a close involvement with soul jazz and hard bop, represented by, among others, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Jimmy Smith and Ike Quebec. In 1963 Blue Note was purchased by Liberty; musicians recording for the company included Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Blue Note then began recording jazz-rock and more commercially orientated music; Donald Byrd’s album ...