During the key years between 1939 and 1966, Blue Note records was at the forefront of quality jazz recording. An independent label founded in '39 by German expatriates Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, Blue Note hit its stride in the mid-1950s and, until it was sold to Liberty Records in 1966, was the home of countless important musicians and a unique sound, thanks in no small part to head engineer Rudy Van Gelder. Blue Note disks also had a unique look, the product of a collaboration between designer Reid Miles and Wolff, a photographer by vocation. This book, handsomely designed by Oscar Schnider, offers jazz fans 195 of Wolff's photographs of such luminaries as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, and Ornette Coleman. Wolff's striking black-and- white photos capture the musicians with remarkable candor, whether in repose or while playing, and the gleam of his careful lighting burnishes everything it touches with a warm glow, not unlike the sound of Blue Note's recordings. The book is aided immeasurably by thoughtful texts by jazz recording veterans Cuscuna and Lourie.
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