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The Birka Jazz Archive
Records we have bought and sold over the years - the rare and the beautiful!

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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 and experimental

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 1500 series

Defining the
hard bop style of New York

BLUE NOTE started the 12" LP era in mid 1950s with some trad jazz albums, but then launched the legendary 1500 modern jazz series.

RED MILES took over as the label´s art director and he defined a style that came to be assocoiated with New York hard bop.

The first gem in the 1500 series is Miles Davis (1501) and the last is Bennie Green (1599) + the little "bastard" at the end - The 3 Sounds LP, which has number 1600.


99 albums in the 1500 series

Thus in total 99 LP albums were issued in this 1500 series between 1955 and 1958. After that Blue Note changed the catalogue numbering to the long running 4000 series (see next page).

Before Reid Miles took over as art director at Blue Note, he had worked as assistent to John Hermansader, who was a freelance designer working for Blue Note from his studio in New York.

It happened that the assistent Miles became involved in the design of Blue Note´s covers and he carried them out to the client´s great satisfaction. When he left Hermansader´s studio for a job with Esquire magazine, he took the Blue Note account with him.


Unique distinctive look

Hermansader created the first eight covers in the 1500 series before Miles came in. Reid Miles was influenced and inspired by his master and developed his style. His covers became a virtual trademark for Blue Note and gave the label a unique distinctive look.

Sometimes Reid Miles let Wolff´s expressive film noir-like photography drive a cover, sometimes a funky typeface. But always in a harmonious blending of European modernist aesthetic and personality and in face with the cool jazz cats and their music.

Red Miles was a freelance designer and also worked for other labels, notably Prestige. But in the beginning of the 1970s he turned his interest more to photography, and he also became a prominent producer of television commercials in Hollywood. He died in 1993.



      Reid Miles, photo
        Reid Miles in the 1950s


There were also some other designers involved in the Blue Note production during the years, notably Andy Warhol, Harold Feinstein and Tom Hannan.

HAROLD FEINSTEIN is one of the world's premier photographers. His works are found in major museums including Museum of Modern Art and his portfolios, photo essays, and articles have been published in major periodicals around the world including LIFE and Audubon.

In the 1950s he worked for some record companys including Blue Note. Beside those, another memorable cover is the close-up photograph on the Gigi Gryce LP for the Signal label (see the Various page). Today he is famous for his vivid and breathtaking close-up photographs of flowers and seashells.

ANDY WARHOL started his career as commercial artist in the 1950s, making illstrations for fashion, including drawings for magazines such as Vouge. He also made some illustrations for record companies. As far as it is known he made 10 jazz covers, including 4 for Blue Note, 4 for RCA Victor, 1 for Groove (a subsidiary label to RCA Victor), and 1 for Prestige.

The elegant economy of his line drawing shows a distinct affenity with the work of Ben Shahn and the technique of David Stone Martin.

More Andy Warhol covers will be find on the Prestige and RCA Victor pages.


   Andy Warhol, photo
    Andy Warhol in the 1950s




See also

Blue Note 10" LPs

Blue Note 4000 series






LINKS

Blue Note Discography
jazzdisco.com


The Blue Note Label
Peter Losin


Blue Note Japanese pressings
Discography


HAROLD FEINSTEIN
official website


Kenny Dorham, Blue Note 1524  Kenny Dorham: Round About Midnight   Label: Blue Note 1524   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff

Blue Note  1500 series

Miles Davis, Blue Note 1501 Miles Davis, vol. 1   Label: Blue Note 1501   12" LP 1955
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Bud Powell, Blue Note 1503  The Amazing Bud Powell, vol. 1   Label: Blue Note 1503   12" LP 1955
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Art Blakey, Blue Note 1507  The Jazz Messengers at Cafe Bohemia, vol. 1   Label: Blue Note 1507   12" LP 1955
 Design: John Hermansader   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Milt Jackson, Blue Note 1509  Milt Jackson with Thelonious Monk Quintet   Label: Blue Note 1509   12" LP 1955
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Tehlonious Monk, Blue Note 1511  Thelonious Monk: Genius of Modern Musdic, vol. 2   Label: Blue Note 1511   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Jimmy Smith, Blue Note 1512  Jimmy Smith: A New Sound - A New Star   Label: Blue Note 1512   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Thad Jones, Blue Note 1513  Thad Jones: Detroit-New York Junction   Label: Blue Note 1513   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Jutta Hipp, Blue Note 1516  Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House, vol. 2   Label: Blue Note 1516   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Horace Silver, Blue Note 1518  Horace Silver and The Jazz Messengers   Label: Blue Note 1518   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Herbie Nichols, Blue Note 1519  Herbie Nichols Trio   Label: Blue Note 1519   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1523  Introducing Kenny Burrell   Label: Blue Note 1523   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Clifford Brown, Blue Note 1526  Clifford Brown: Memorial Album   Label: Blue Note 1526   12" LP 1956
 Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Thad Jones, Blue Note 1527  The Magnificent Thad Jones   Label: Blue Note 1527   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Jutta Hipp, Blue Note 1530  Jutta Hipp with Zoot Sims   Label: Blue Note 1530   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles
 
 

Fats Navarro, Blue Note 1532  Fabulous Fats Navarro, vol. 2   Label: Blue Note 1532   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Johnny Griffin, Blue Note 1533  Introducing Johnny Griffin   Label: Blue Note 1533   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Paul Chambers, Blue Note 1534  Paul Chambers: Whims of Chambers   Label: Blue Note 1534   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Kenny Dorham, Blue Note 1535  Kenny Dorham: Afro-Cuban   Label: Blue Note 1535   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

J.R. Monterose, Blue Note 1536  J.R. Monterose   Label: Blue Note 1536   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Lee Morgan, Blue Note 1538  Lee Morgan Indeed!   Label: Blue Note 1538   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Horace Silver, Blue Note 1539  Horace Silver: Six Pieces of Silver   Label: Blue Note 1539   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1540  Hank Mobley Sextet   Label: Blue Note 1540   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Lee Morgan, Blue Note 1541  Lee Morgan Sextet   Label: Blue Note 1541   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Sonny Rollins, Blue Note 1542  Sonny Rollins   Label: Blue Note 1542   12" LP 1957
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1543, Andy Warhol  Kenny Burrell (vol. 2)   Label: Blue Note 1543   12" LP 1956
 Illustration: Andy Warhol   Design: Reid Miles
 
 

Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1544  Hank Mobley and his All Stars   Label: Blue Note 1544   12" LP 1956
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Lou Donaldson, Blue Note 1545  Lou Donaldson: Wailing with Lou   Label: Blue Note 1545   12" LP 1956
 Design: Harold Feinstein   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Thad Jones, Blue Note 1546  The Magnificent Thad Jones, vol. 3   Label: Blue Note 1546   12" LP 1957
 Design: Harold Feinstein   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

John Gilmore - Cliff Jordan, Blue Note 1549  C. Jordan - J. Gilmore: Blowing in from Chicago   Label: Blue Note 1549   12" LP 1957
 Design: Harold Feinstein   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1550  Hank Mobley Quintet   Label: Blue Note 1550   12" LP 1957
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Jimmy Smith, Blue Note 1551  Jimmy Smith at the Organ   Label: Blue Note 1551   12" LP 1957
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Lee Morgan, Blue Note 1557  Lee Morgan, vol. 3   Label: Blue Note 1557   12" LP 1956
 Design: Harold Feinstein   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Sonny Rollins, Blue Note 1558  Sonny Rollins, vol. 2   Label: Blue Note 1558   12" LP 1957
 Design: Harold Feinstein   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Johnny Griffin, Blue Note 1559  Johnny Griffin: A Blowing Session   Label: Blue Note 1559   12" LP 1957
 Design: Harold Feinstein   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Sabu Martinez, Blue Note 1561  Sabu Martinez: Palo Congo   Label: Blue Note 1561   12" LP 1957
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Horace Silver, Blue Note 1562  Horace Silver: The Stylings of Silver   Label: Blue Note 1562   12" LP 1957
 Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Curtis Fuller, Blue Note 1567  Curtis Fuller: The Opener   Label: Blue Note 1567   12" LP 1957
 Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568  Hank Mobley   Label: Blue Note 1568   12" LP 1957
 Design: Tom Hannan   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Paul Chambers, Blue Note 1569  Paul Chambers: Bass on Top   Label: Blue Note 1569   12" LP 1957
 Design: Harold Feinstein   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Sonny Clark, Blue Note 1570  Sonny Clark: Dial S for Sonny   Label: Blue Note 1570   12" LP 1957
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: William Connors
 
 

Bud Powell, Blue Note 1571  The Amazing Bud Powell, vol. 3   Label: Blue Note 1571   12" LP 1957
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Lee Morgan, Blue Note 1575  Lee Morgan: City Lights   Label: Blue Note 1575   12" LP 1958
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Sonny Clark, Blue Note 1576  Sonny Clark: Sonny´s Crib   Label: Blue Note 1576   12" LP 1958
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

John Coltrane, Blue Note 1577  John Coltrane: Blue Train   Label: Blue Note 1577   12" LP 1957
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Lee Morgan, Blue Note 1578  Lee Morgan: The Cooker   Label: Blue Note 1578   12" LP 1958
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Sonny Clark, Blue Note 1579  Sonny Clark Trio   Label: Blue Note 1579   12" LP 1958
 Design: Reid Miles
 
 

Johnny Griffin, Blue Note 1580, Andy Warhol  Johnny Griffin: Congregation   Label: Blue Note 1580   12" LP 1958
 Illustration: Andy Warhol   Design: Reid Miles
 
 

Sonny Rollins, Blue Note 1581, vspace=  Sonny Rollins: A Night at the Village Vanguard   Label: Blue Note 1581   12" LP 1958
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Clifford Jordan, Blue Note 1582  Clifford Jordan: Cliff Craft   Label: Blue Note 1582   12" LP 1958
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Curtis Fuller, Blue Note 1583  Curtis Fuller   Label: Blue Note 1583   12" LP 1958
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Louis Smith, Blue Note 1584  Here Comes Louis Smith   Label: Blue Note 1584   12" LP 1958
 Photo: Charles Lowe
 
 

Bennie Green, Blue Note 1587  Bennie Green: Back on the Scene   Label: Blue Note 1587   12" LP 1958
 Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Sonny Clark, Blue Note 1588  Sonny Clark: Cool Struttin´   Label: Blue Note 1588   12" LP 1958
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Horace Silver, Blue Note 1589  Horace Silver: Further Explorations   Label: Blue Note 1589   12" LP 1958
 Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Lee Morgan, Blue Note 1590  Lee Morgan: Candy   Label: Blue Note 1590   12" LP 1958
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Emerick Bronson
 
 

Louis Smith, Blue Note 1594  Louis Smith: Smithville´s Time   Label: Blue Note 1594   12" LP 1958
 Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Cannonball  Cannonball Adderley: Something Else   Label: Blue Note 1595   12" LP 1958
 Design: Reid Miles
 
 

Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1596, Andy Warhol  Kenny Burrell: Blue Lights, vol. 1   Label: Blue Note 1596   12" LP 1958
 Illustration: Andy Warhol   Design: Reid Miles
 
 

Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1597, Andy Warhol  Kenny Burrell: Blue Lights, vol. 2   Label: Blue Note 1597   12" LP 1958
 Illustration: Andy Warhol   Design: Reid Miles
 
 

Bud Powell, Blue Note 1598  Bud Powell: Time Waits   Label: Blue Note 1598   12" LP 1958
 Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Bennie Green, Blue Note 1599  Bennie Green: Soul Stirrin´   Label: Blue Note 1599   12" LP 1958
 Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

Three Sounds, Blue Note 1600  Introducing The 3 Sounds   Label: Blue Note 1600   12" LP 1958
 Design: Reid Miles   Photo: Francis Wolff
 
 

 
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