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Blue Note Changed My Life: 16 artists pick their favourite records from the legendary jazz label

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  • published
    23 Jul 2014
  • words by
    Anton Spice
  • tags
    Blue Note
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Blue Note Changed My Life: 16 artists pick their favourite records from the legendary jazz label

Originally posted on The Vinyl Factory. Also check TVF’s similar feature on Sun Ra from earlier this year.


The finest in jazz since 1939.

Among the most influential and important record labels of all time, Blue Note have marked their 75th anniversary by launching an extensive reissue campaign that aims to make 100 classic and contemporary Blue Note titles available on vinyl once more.

From Coltrane to Cannonball Adderley, the label was at one time or another home to pretty much every major jazz musician to break land during the commercial golden era of the genre in the ’50s and ’60s. With its distinctive Reid Miles-designed sleeves and Rudy Van Gelder-produced sound, it forged a coherent identity over a catalogue estimated at close to 1,000 releases.

And yet, with so much to choose from, when we tasked 16 musicians, producers, DJs and label heads from the most diverse of backgrounds to share their favourite Blue Note records, it was striking how focussed the results were. As much a celebration of Blue Note as a Donald Byrd appreciation society, the trumpet player who made the jump to jazz funk smoother than most clocked an impressive five votes, while both Wayne Shorter and Horace Silver are also well represented with two a piece.

However, whether discovered through hip hop samples or via Dad’s record player, this feature is as much about the people choosing as the records themselves, and with a remit way beyond the dusty corridors of jazz we hope this has shown just how broad the church of Blue Note really is.

To accompany this feature, we’ve also compiled a YouTube playlist from the records chosen below for you to listen to while you read. Enjoy.

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