Germany’s official agency for the promotion of culture recently commented on the merger of cultures that took place with the founding of Blue Note records 70 years ago. An article on the Web site of theÂ Goethe-Institut explored the founding of the famous jazz label by Alfred Lion (1909–1987, formerly Alfred LÃ¶w) and Francis “Frank” Wolff (1907-1971), two Jewish refugees from Berlin.
Inspired after hearing a concert featuring pianists Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis at Carnegie Hall, Lion rented a studio and recorded 10 songs with the great practitioners of boogie-woogie. According to the Goethe-Institut story, Blue Note had its first hit within a few months of its founding — Sidney Bechet’s rendition of “Summertime.”
The label that brought the music of Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, et al., to jazz fans is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a concert tour featuring an all-star septet under the direction of pianist Bill Charlap. The group features Peter Bernstein, guitar; Ravi Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Lewis Nash, drums; Nicholas Payton, trumpet; Peter Washington, bass;Â and Steve Wilson, alto saxophone.
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