Blue Note Records: The Ten Essential Albums

Blue Note Records: The Ten Essential Albums

Ten albums that represent the very best of what made Blue Note the premier jazz label during the golden age of jazz music (a period running roughly 1856 to 1968). They showcase the finest jazz music and artists that emerged during a time when jazz music was at it's commercial and creative peak.

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A Sense Of Purpose: Larry Young - "Unity"

A Sense Of Purpose: Larry Young - "Unity"

On Unity Larry Young showed the world he was no longer simply a Jimmy Smith clone, but instead revealed that his creative spirit was more aligned with the adventurous post bop and avant garde leanings that were emerging in jazz in the mid-1960s. Joined by Joe Henderson, Elvin Jones and a young Woody Shaw, Unity is a truly adventurous classic from the latter stages of the Blue Note catalog.

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Doing His Thing: Woody Shaw - "United"

Doing His Thing: Woody Shaw - "United"

Woody Shaw's last album for Columbia is a wonderful straight-ahead jazz session, with his quintet of talented players being joined by Gary Bartz on two tracks. As usual, Shaw was forging ahead with inventive ideas at a time when very few others in the commercial jazz world were following his lead.

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Complex Beauty: Herbie Hancock - "Speak Like A Child"

Complex Beauty: Herbie Hancock - "Speak Like A Child"

On his second to last recording for Blue Note, Herbie stays on the creative hot streak he was on with Maiden Voyage, this time employing some more complex arrangements to create an absolutely beautiful record that remains one of his great musical statements. 

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All Together Now: Charlie Rouse - "Two Is One"

All Together Now: Charlie Rouse - "Two Is One"

Charlie Rouse takes a break from his usual hard bop excellence for a funky and often spiritual soul jazz excursion on the always stimulating Strata-East label. The resulting album might be hard to find, but offers the open-minded listener some excellent and adventurous early-seventies jazz music.

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