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EMI Blue Note

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Formed 1939


Blue Note Records is an American jazz record label, established in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis. Francis Wolff became involved shortly afterwards. It derives its name from the characteristic "blue notes" of jazz and the blues.

Originally dedicated to recording traditional jazz and small group swing, from 1947 the label began to switch its attention to modern jazz. While the original company did not itself record many of the pioneers of bebop, significant exceptions are Thelonious Monk, Fats Navarro and Bud Powell. However, the label does not include modern pop, R&B, and other portions of mainstream music culture even after the change.

Historically, Blue Note has principally been associated with the "hard bop" style of jazz (mixing bebop with other forms of music including soul, blues, rhythm and blues and gospel). Horace Silver, Jimmy Smith, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey, Lou Donaldson, Donald Byrd, Grant Green, Hank Mobley and Freddie Redd were among the label's leading artists.

The label is currently owned by the Universal Music Group and in 2006 was expanded to fill the role of an umbrella label group bringing together a wide variety of then EMI-owned labels and imprints specializing in the growing market segment of music for adults.


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