Blue Note

Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression

The Finest in Jazz Since 1939

  1. Richard Havers
  • ISBN 9780500517444
  • 27.70 x 21.60 cm
  • PLC (no jacket)
  • 400pp
  • With over 600 illustrations
  • First published 2014

Released to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the coolest and best-known label in jazz, this book celebrates over seven decades of extraordinary music from a company that has stayed true to its founders’ commitment to ‘Uncompromising Expression’

'Richard Havers’s book about Blue Note records, with its details of the inspirations and excesses of the label’s major talents, amounts to a history of jazz itself'– theguardian.com

Blue Note sample spread

see this great video on 'Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression'

See the BBC Arts pages 'Blue Note at 75: All that jazz'

‘The book is sumptuous, opulent, definitive. It is a dream come true for Blue Note fans and will appeal to anyone who has more than the most fleeting interest in jazz’ – London Jazz News
‘Havers has been given full access to Blue Note’s extensive archives and the label’s astonishing photo library, enabling him to produce a history that is not only deeply researched, but leaps off the page with an unprecedented visual punch … As it concludes its 75th anniversary year, Blue Note finally gets the book it deserves’ – Jazzwise
‘Packed with unseen photography and ephemera from the Blue Note archive, including the original studio sessions from some of the most important recordings’– Independent
'For fellow worshippers at the shrine of Blue Note, Havers’s book is the closest thing they’ll find to holy scripture aside from the records themselves' – Prospect Magazine


See the review and gallery in Design Week
See Peter Conrad's review in The Guardian

Tracing the evolution of jazz from the boogie-woogie and swing of the 1930s, through bebop, funk and fusion, to the eclectic mix Blue Note releases today, the book also narrates a complex social history from the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany to the developments in music and technology in the late 20th century.

Blue Note sample spread

Blue Note is not only known as the purveyor of extraordinary jazz but is also famous as an arbiter of cool. The photography of co-founder Francis Wolff and the cover designs of Reid Miles were integral to the label’s success and this highly illustrated, landmark publication – featuring the very best photographs, covers, and ephemera from the archives, including never-before-published material – commemorates Blue Note’s momentous contribution to jazz, to art and design as well as to revolutionizing the music business.

See a list of Blue Note artists in the book
See this jazz playlist on Spotify (login required)

Also of interest
Verve - The Sound of America
The Chronicle of Jazz
New York Mid-Century: Post-War Capital of Culture, 1945-1965