Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression

The Finest in Jazz Since 1939

Richard Havers


A celebration of over seven decades of extraordinary music from a company that has stayed true to its founders’ commitment to ‘Uncompromising Expression’

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Tracing the evolution of jazz from the boogie-woogie and swing of the 1930s, through bebop, funk and fusion, to the eclectic mix Blue Note releases today, this book also narrates a complex social history from the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany to the developments in music and technology in the late 20th century.

Blue Note is not only known as the purveyor of extraordinary jazz but is also famous as an arbiter of cool. The photography of co-founder Francis Wolff and the cover designs of Reid Miles were integral to the label’s success and this highly illustrated, landmark publication – featuring the very best photographs, covers, and ephemera from the archives, including never-before-published material – commemorates Blue Note’s momentous contribution to jazz, to art and design as well as to revolutionizing the music business.

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'Richard Havers’s book about Blue Note records, with its details of the inspirations and excesses of the label’s major talents, amounts to a history of jazz itself'

'The book is sumptuous, opulent, definitive. It is a dream come true for Blue Note fans and will appeal to anyone who has more than the most fleeting interest in jazz'
London Jazz News

'Havers has been given full access to Blue Note’s extensive archives and the label’s astonishing photo library, enabling him to produce a history that is not only deeply researched, but leaps off the page with an unprecedented visual punch … As it concludes its 75th anniversary year, Blue Note finally gets the book it deserves'

'Packed with unseen photography and ephemera from the Blue Note archive, including the original studio sessions from some of the most important recordings'

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Further Details


Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 27.7 x 21.6 cm

Extent: 400 pp

Publication date: 3 November 2014

ISBN: 9780500517444

About the Author

Richard Havers is Jazz consultant to the Universal Music Group where he has produced box sets including Louis Armstrong : Ambassador of Jazz, as well as box sets including Impulse! Records to Ella Fitzgerald. His other books include Sinatra, Rolling With The Stones, Bill Wyman’s Blues Odyssey and Tony Visconti: Bowie, Bolan and the Boy from Brooklyn.

List of Contributors

Wayne Shorter, Robert Glasper, Don Was