‘Uncompromising Expression’: The new book to commemorate 75 years of pure jazz


In order to commemorate the 75th anniversary of ‘Blue Note’, one of the most important record labels in the history of jazz music, ‘Uncompromising Expression’ has been published and went on sale on 12 November.

The American jazz record label was established in 1939 by Alfred Lion and named ‘Blue Note’ to reflect the minor tonality “blue notes” of jazz and blues.

Though originally started in New York to record traditional jazz and swing groups,  the label took its steps towards modernity in the 1940s to dedicate its attention to the evolution of jazz from boogie-woogie through bebop and hard bop while mixing soul, blues, rhythm and blues until the gospel, avant-garde and fusion release.

An impressive array of artists have signed over the years with Blue Note while the label was going through many changes and releasing the biggest and most exclusive hits.

Besides its genre defining role, the renowned label in jazz was also best known for its sleeve designs, some of which are featured in the ‘Uncompromising Expression’ that perfectly represents the immutable creativity and variety of music it offers.

Album artworks, original contact sheets, reviews of the 75-year key albums and outstanding photography have been collected in Richard Havers’ illustrated book which will be given away together with a 5-CD singles box, a collection of 75 tracks recorded by the label to celebrate the anniversary.

‘Uncompromising Expression’ interior (photo: Chronicle Books)

‘Blue Note’ defined jazz history (photo: Chronicle Books)

‘Uncompromising Express’ (photo: The Diggers Union)

The book is an extraordinary attempt to go back to the past by tracing the streets of glory throughout the jazz era.

And to musically complete the celebration, a star-studded anniversary concert will be held in London on 22 November.