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AMERICAN LABELS

COLUMBIA RECORDS
The pioneers of album cover design

CLEF, NORGRAN, VERVE (1)
David Stone Martin

CLEF, NORGRAN, VERVE (2)
The photographic covers

BLUE NOTE  10" LPs
Searching for a modern jazz identity

BLUE NOTE  1500 series
Defining the hard bop style

BLUE NOTE  4000 series
Masterpieces of Reid Miles

PRESTIGE RECORDS
Images of East Coast jazz

RIVERSIDE RECORDS
Street cred with Thelonious Monk

PACIFIC JAZZ
Moods of Chet and Claxton

CONTEMPORARY
Cool West Coast, great Sound

SAVOY RECORDS
Masterworks by Charlie Parker

DIAL RECORDS
Small label, big Bird sound

ATLANTIC RECORDS
Bold and striking albums

EMARCY RECORDS
The classic drummer logo label

BETHLEHEM RECORDS
The beautiful design of Burt Goldblatt

DEBUT RECORDS
Artist-operated jazz label with Mingus & Roach

CANDID RECORDS
Legendary, early 1960s LPs

ESP-DISK
Free jazz and silk screened covers

IMPULSE RECORDS
Edgy, experimental, deluxe

RCA VICTOR
The high spirit of Jim Flora

VARIOUS US labels (1)
ABC-Paramount, Aladdin, Argo, Capitol, Coral, Dawn, Decca,
and more

VARIOUS US labels (2)
Epic, Fantasy, HiFi, Imperial, Jazzland, Jazz West, Jubilee, Mercury, Mode, and more

VARIOUS US labels (3)
Roost, Signal, Storyville, Tampa, Transition, United Artists, Vee Jay, and more



EUROPEAN LABELS

SWEDEN (1)
The EP era and Metronome Records in 1950s

SWEDEN (2)
The LPs in the 1950s, and Swedish jazz abroad

SWEDEN (3)
Changing times in the 1960s

SWEDEN (4)
New energy to Swedish jazz in the 1970s

DENMARK
Montmartre, Debut Records and the heydays in Danish jazz

NORWAY
Krog and Garbarek, greats in Norwegian jazz

FINLAND
Plenty of merged styles in Finnish jazz

FRANCE
Americans in Paris, force in French jazz

ENGLAND
Esquire and Tempo, classic labels in British jazz

GERMANY
Jazz labels with strong identity

ITALY
Rare Italian jazz covers

HOLLAND
From Diamonds to ICP in
Dutch jazz

POLAND
Unique series of Polish jazz on Muza


OTHER COUNTRIES
Jazz labels around the world






          blue note blue-white label

Blue Note 10" LP

Searching for
a modern jazz identity

BLUE NOTE was established in 1939 by Alfred Lion. He joined forces by Francis Wolff a couple of years later. They recorded on the 78 rpm format the first ten years, then on 10" LPs into 1955.

In the early 1950s about 30 albums were issued in the 7000 series, featuring traditional jazz mostly recorded in the 1940s.

But Blue Note was searching for a contemporary identity, and it was with the modern jazz 5000 series they found it.

70 album in this series were issued. These 10" LPs are interesting in many ways, not least for their unique cover designs. Most of the music were later reissued on 12" records, but then with new cover designs. So the first covers are in general only found on the original 10" albums.

PAUL BACON was the first designer at Blue Note. He designed most of the company´s albums in the early 10" LP 7000 series. Among them the James P. Johnson album, shown next top to the right.

He also created the first design for Blue Note´s Modern 5000 Series and continued to work for Blue Note some years. Then Paul Bacon went on to become a distinguished art director for the Riverside label.

JOHN HERMANSADER was a friend to Paul Bacon and began to design covers as a freelance for Blue Note in the late 1940s. He established a studio in New York and continued to work for the company during the first half of 1950s, creating many of the classic 10" LP albums.

In his designs for the 10" covers, John Hermansader evoked the feeling of the music. His graphics, and Francis Wolff´s photographs, laid the groundwork for the Blue Note look and the graphic style of 1950s modern jazz. It was then accomplished by Reid Miles, who took over as art director in 1956.

John Hermansader continued to create some 12" designs for Blue Note and also made covers for Prestige and other labels. He died in 2005, at the age of 89.

FRANCIS WOLFF was born in 1907 in Germany. With Alfred Lion he managed the Blue Note record label through its life as an independent company.

As a photographer he chronicled the working lives of Blue Note musicians from 1939 to 1967, and he did almost all of the Blue Note's photography.

Though the pictures mostly are taken in studios, there is a presence of spontaneity and nightclub atmosphere. And the sharp contrasts of light and shade gives his photographs a moody film noir look.

GIL MELLÉ is one of few top jazz musicians who also designed great jazz album covers. He was a young bohemian in Greenvich Village in New York, playing saxophone, when he met Alfred Lion and became a member of the Blue Note family.

He recorded six LPs for the label and his interest in art gave him also the opportunity to design album covers. He made several 10" covers for Blue Note before he left for Prestige in 1956.

Gil Mellé was a versatile and experimental nature. He was interested in sound engineering and introduced Rudy van Gelder for both Blue Note and Prestige. He has been successful in fine art and other fields like electronic music and composing for movies and television.


   Alfred Lion and Fracis Wolfff, photo
    Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff


   Gile Melle, photo
    Gil Mellé





See also

Blue Note 1500 LP series

Blue Note 4000 LP series

PAUL BACON  at Riverside

GIL MELLE  at Prestige




LINKS

Blue Note Discography
jazzdisco.com


The Blue Note Label
Peter Losin


Blue Note Japanese pressings
Discography




Horace Silver, Blue Note 5058  Horace Silver Quintet   Label: Blue Note 5058   10" LP 1954
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff

Blue Note  10" LP

James P. Johnson, Blue Note 7012 James P. Johnson: Jazz Band Ball   Label Note 7012   10" LP 1951
 Design: Paul Bacon
 
 

Thelonious Monk, Blue Note 5002  Art Hodes: Out of the Back Room   Label: Blue Note 7021   10" LP 1951
 Design: John Hermansader
 
 

Thelonious Monk, Blue Note 5002  Thelonious Monk: Genius of Modern Music   Label: Blue Note 5002   10" LP 1951
 Design: Paul Bacon
 
 

Bud Powell, Blue Note 5003  The Amazing Bud Powell   Label: Blue Note 5003   10" LP 1951
 Design and illustration: Paul Bacon
 
 

Fats Navarro, Blue Note 5004  Fats Navarro Memorial Album  Label: Blue Note 5004   10" LP 1951
 Design: Paul Bacon
 
 

James Moody, Blue Note 5006  James Moody and his Modernists   Label: Blue Note 5006   10" LP 1951
 Design: Julien Alberts
 
 

Thelonious Monk, Blue Note 5009  Thelonious Monk: Genius of Modern Music, vol. 2   Label: Blue Note 5009   10" LP 1952
 Design: Paul Bacon
 
 

Milt Jackson, Blue Note 5011  Milt Jackson: Wizard of the Vibes   Label: Blue Note 5011   10" LP 1952
 Design: Paul Bacon
 
 

Howard McGhee, Blue Note 5012  Howard McGhee Sextet   Label: Blue Note 5012   10" LP 1952
 Design: Paul Bacon   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Miles Davis, Blue Note 5013  Miles Davis: Young Man with a Horn   Label: Blue Note 5013   10" LP 1952
 Design and photo: Burt Goldblatt
 
 

Dizzy Gillespie, Blue Note 5017  Dizzy Gillespie: Horn of Plenty   Label: Blue Note 5017   10" LP 1953
 Design: Paul Bacon
 
 

Horace Silver, Blue Note 5018  Introducing Horace Silver Trio   Label: Blue Note 5018   10" LP 1953
 Design: John Hermansader
 
 

Gil Melle, Blue Note 5020  Gil Mellé Quintet / Sextet   Label: Blue Note 5020   10" LP 1953
 Design: Gil Mellé
 
 

Lou Donaldson, Blue Note 5021  Lou Donaldson Quintet   Label: Blue Note 5021   10" LP 1953
 Design: John Hermansader
 
 

Miles Davis, Blue Note 5022  Miles Davis, vol. 2   Label: Blue Note 5022   10" LP 1953
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Kenny Drew, Blue Note 5023  Introducing the Kenny Drew Trio   Label: Blue Note 5023   10" LP 1953
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Howard McGhee, Blue Note 5024  Howard McGhee Sextet, vol. 2   Label: Blue Note 5024   10" LP 1953
 Design: John Hermansader
 
 

Wynton Kelly, Blue Note 5025  Wynton Kelly: Piano Interpretations   Label: Blue Note 5025   10" LP 1953
 Design: Gil Mellé
 
 

Jay Jay Johnson, Blue Note 5028  Jay Jay Johnson with Clifford Brown   Label: Blue Note 5028   10" LP 1953
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Elmo Hope, Blue Note 5029  Elmo Hole Trio   Label: Blue Note 5029   10" LP 1953
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Clifford Brown, Blue Note 5030  Clifford Brown - Lou Donaldson   Label: Blue Note 5030   10" LP 1953
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Clifford Brown, Blue Note 5032  Clifford Brown: New Star on the Horizon   Label: Blue Note 5032   10" LP 1953
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Gil Melle, Blue Note 5033  Gil Mellé Quintet, vol. 2   Label: Blue Note 5033   10" LP 1953
 Design: Jerome Kuhl
 
 

Horace Silver, Blue Note 5034  Horace Silver Trio, vol, 2   Label: Blue Note 5034   10" LP 1953
 Design: Jerome Kuhl   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Urbie Green, Blue Note 5036  Urbie Green Septet   Label: Blue Note 5036   10" LP 1954
 Design: Gil Mellé   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Art Blakey, Blue Note 5037  Art Blakey: A Night at Birdland, vol. 1   Label: Blue Note 5037   10" LP 1954
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Art Blakey, Blue Note 5038  Art Blakey: A Night at Birdland, vol. 2   Label: Blue Note 5038   10" LP 1954
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Art Blakey, Blue Note 5039  Art Blakey: A Night at Birdland, vol.3   Label: Blue Note 5039   10" LP 1954
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Miles Davis, Blue Note 5040  Miles Davis, vol. 3   Label: Blue Note 5040   10" LP 1954
 
 

Bud Powell, Blue Note 5041  Bud Powell, vol.2   Label: Blue Note 5041   10" LP 1954
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Tal Farlow, Blue Note 5042  Tal Farlow Quaret   Label: Blue Note 5042   10" LP 1954
 Design: Bill Hughes   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Frank Foster, Blue Note 5043  Frank Foster Quintet   Label: Blue Note 5043   10" LP 1954
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Elmo Hope, Blue Note 5044  Elmo Hope Quintet   Label: Blue Note 5044   10" LP 1954
 Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

George Wallington, Blue Note 5045  George Wallington   Label: Blue Note 5045   10" LP 1954
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Clifford Brown, Blue Note 5047  Clifford Brown Quartet   Label: Blue Note 5047   10" LP 1954
 Design: Gil Mellé
 
 

Clifford Brown, Blue Note 5048  Gigi Gryce - Clifford Brown: Jazztime Paris   Label: Blue Note 5048   10" LP 1954
 Design: Gil Mellé   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Julius Watkins, Blue Note 5053  Julius Watkins Sextet   Label: Blue Note 5053   10" LP 1954
 Design and Photo: Bill Hughes
 
 

Gil Melle, Blue Note 5054  Gil Mellé Quartet   Label: Blue Note 5054   10" LP 1954
 Photo: Bill Hughes
 
 

Lou Donaldson, Blue Note 5055  Lou Donaldson Sextet   Label: Blue Note 5055   10" LP 1954
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Jutta Hipp, Blue Note 5056  Jutta Hipp Quintet   Label: Blue Note 5056   10" LP 1954
 Design: Trudi Farmilant
 
 

Jay Jay Johnson, Blue Note 5057  The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson   Label: Blue Note 5057   10" LP 1954
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Fats Sadi, Blue Note 5061  The Swinging Fats Sadi   Label: Blue Note 5061   10" LP 1955
 Design: Reid Miles
 

Horace Silver, Blue Note 5062  Horace Silver Quintet   Label: Blue Note 5062   10" LP 1955
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Gil Melle, Blue Note 5063  Gil Mellé Quintet   Label: Blue Note 5063   10" LP 1955
 Design: Gil Mellé   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Julius Watkins, Blue Note 5064  Julius Watkins Sextet   Label: Blue Note 5064   10" LP 1955
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Kenny Dorham, Blue Note 5065  Kenny Dorham: Afro-Cuban   Label: Blue Note 5065   10" LP 1955
 Design: Gil Mellé
 
 

Hank Mobley, Blue Note 5066  Hank Mobley Quartet   Label: Blue Note 5066   10" LP 1955
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 

Herbie Nichols, Blue Note 5068  The Prophetic Herbie Nichols   Label: Blue Note 5068   10" LP 1955
 Design: Martin Craig
 
 

Herbie Nichols, Blue Note 5069  The Prophetic Herbie Nichols, vol. 2   Label: Blue Note 5069   10" LP 1955
 Design: Martin Craig
 
 

Jay Jay Johnson, Blue Note 5070  The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson, vol. 3   Label: Blue Note 5070   10" LP 1955
 Photo: Frances Wolff
 
 

 
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