Blue Note Records is an American jazz record label, established in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis. Francis Wolff became involved shortly afterwards. It derives its name from the characteristic "blue notes" of jazz and the blues.
Lion first heard jazz as a young boy in
He settled in New York in 1937,
and shortly after the first From Spirituals to Swing concert, recorded pianists
Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis in 1939 during a one-day session in a rented
studio. The Blue Note label initially consisted of Lion and Max Margulis, a
communist writer who funded the project. The label's first releases were
traditional "hot" jazz and boogie woogie, and the label's first hit
was a performance of "Summertime" by soprano saxophonist Sidney
Bechet, which Bechet had been unable to record for the established companies.
Musicians were supplied with alcoholic refreshments, and recorded in the early
hours of the morning after their evening's work in clubs and bars had finished.
The label soon became known for treating musicians uncommonly well - setting up
recording sessions at congenial times, and allowing the artists to be involved
in all aspects of the record's production.
Edmond Hall cl / Benny Morton tb / Harry Carney bar / Don Frye p / Everett Barksdale g / Alvin Raglin sb / Sidney Catlett d.
Recorded in New York on May 5, 1944.