The Definitive 45 rpm Blue Note Reissue Series
You listen, you look, you’re there...
For nearly 70 years, the name Blue Note has been synonymous with the finest in recorded jazz music. The combination of producer Alfred Lion, photographer Francis Wolff, (his partner in Blue Note), and recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder resulted in a near perfect team for documenting the greatest jazz musicians of the time. If Alfred and Rudy were responsible for the Blue Note sound, Francis Wolff could be said to be the man behind the Blue Note look. These men, along with graphic designer Reid Miles, made Blue Note into a label with artistic level, sound fidelity and graphic presentation that set the gold standard for all jazz labels to come.
An often repeated story has Prestige Records producer Bob Porter claiming that “the difference between Prestige and Blue Note is two days of rehearsal.” He was partially right, but the truth is more fundamental than that. Alfred Lion was a perfectionist in his attitude towards the music. Getting it right before it hit the grooves was a major part of the Blue Note success story.
Getting it right is also a single minded passion for Music Matters Ltd. Blue Note has played a significant role in the lives of Ron Rambach and Joe Harley, the core of Music Matters today. We have treasured these records for so long that bringing them back to life again in this new form is like meeting an old friend in new clothes. The work is being carried out with respect, dedication to quality and the realization that being a part of the long Blue Note heritage is both a great honor and a daunting responsibility.
Discussions to do a no holds barred reissue of Blue Note began in May of 2005, though final negotiations with EMI, (parent company to Blue Note), didn’t conclude until July of 2007. Now the dream begins...to honor the work of Alfred, Francis, Rudy, and the musicians themselves by presenting definitive new editions of the Blue Note label on vinyl.
It was decided early on to use the mastering skills of Kevin Gray at Acoustech Mastering to do the all important transfer work for these sessions. After being impressed with the recent series of 45RPM audiophile releases from the Prestige/Riverside vault by Acoustic Sounds, it was also determined that the records should be presented as 45RPM 180-gram limited edition LP sets.
To honor the work of Francis Wolff and others who created the Blue Note “look”, we feel that these magnificent Blue Note sessions warrant the finest graphic presentation possible. Great care has been taken in choosing the cardboard stock and thick lamination for the jackets. The inclusion of the brilliant photography of Francis Wolff was a given for this series. The original issued Blue Note albums sometimes included thumbnail sized session photos on the LP jacket backs but we decided to give these photos the high resolution treatment they deserve via a proper gatefold. We can never thank Blue Note man extraordinaire, Michael Cuscuna, enough for his help in obtaining these wonderful session photos, and for his overall guidance and support with this project.
It is our sincere hope that you get as much joy listening to these masterworks, (and looking at the session photos) as we do in presenting them.
With the music in mind… Enjoy!