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Blue Note Records is one of the most iconic record labels in jazz history. It was founded in 1939 by German-born record executive and producer Alfred Lion, who had fallen in love with swing jazz in his native Berlin, along with his childhood friend Francis Wolff.

The focus of the label switched from traditional to modern jazz in 1947, subsequently pioneering styles like bebop, hard bop, post-bop, avant-garde jazz, and fusion with groundbreaking albums by Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Donald Byrd, Eric Dolphy, and more. Engineer Rudy Van Gelder recorded many of the label’s classic albums from 1953 to 1967 in his New Jersey studio. The label’s modernist, Bauhaus-influenced sleeve design by Reid Miles and black-and-white photography by Wolff proved extremely influential. Blue Note is still an active and successful label, home to some of the most prominent stars and cutting-edge innovators in Jazz today while continuing to highlight the label’s vast catalogue with its Tone Poet and Classic Vinyl reissues series.