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BLUE NOTE JAZZED TO CELEBRATE 80

Blue Note Records, now part of Steve Barnett’s domain within the Capitol Music Group, got its start 80 years ago this Sunday. To celebrate the storied jazz label becoming an octogenarian, the label has announced a year‘s worth of new projects.

Highlights of the year in the vinyl side are the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series that begins in February with Wayne Shorter’s Etcetera and Chick Corea’s Now He Sobs, Now He Sings, and the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series curated by label President Don Was and Cem Kurosman with albums grouped by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders that will begin in April. The label is also partnering with the Vinyl Me, Please record club for six titles.

On the streaming side, Jazz Classics Blue Note Edition on Spotify has been expanded to 80 tracks and Apple Music has the 80-track Blue Note 80: The Finest In Jazz Since 1939 playlist.

Three current Blue Note artists—Kandace Springs, James Francies and the newly signed James Carter—will embark on a branded  U.S. tour of performing arts centers around the country in the fall. The PDX Jazz Festival in in Portland, Oregon (2/20-3/3) will present tributes to Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Donald Byrd’s Steppin’ Into Tomorrow, Joe Henderson’s Mode for Joe, Hank Mobley’s Soul Station, Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil, Lou Donaldson’s Alligator Bogaloo, and Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch.

Director Sophie Huber’s documentary Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes will see wider distribution this year with theatrical runs and festival showings thru the spring, TV broadcasts and streaming premieres in the summer, and a DVD release in the fall.

The company is also selling canvas art prints of classic Blue Note album covers and photographs and teaming with G-SHOCK on a G-STEEL watch.

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