Blue Note Records celebrated its 70th birthday this week, and while I did not plan on writing anything to commemorate the occasion, plenty of people around the web have been talking about the label this week, including Rifftides and Straight No Chaser. On NPR, Neal Conan's Talk of the Nation devoted a large chunk of time to the anniversary this week, interviewing producer, archivist, and Blue Note consultant Micheal Cuscuna, current Blue Note CEO Bruce Lundvall, and pianist Bill Charlap in a very fun segment.
Also be sure to check out Blue Note Records: The Biography, by the late Richard Cook. Anyone interested in the label would do well to check out this exhaustive study of the label by a great journalist. Those interested in Blue Note's iconic cover art should head over to Vintage Vanguard, where you can look at every album cover made by Blue Note. I've covered their covers (no pun intended) as well on Friday Album Cover, and broke down the go-to Blue Note cover art theme, the Blue Note Special.
In my own life, Blue Note played a major role in my own development as a jazz fan. A good portion of the albums I listened to endlessly as a teenager were from the Blue Note catalogue. My top five Blue Note albums as a high school student, in no particular order: