JAZZ .......................................................................................................

Pete Cal­lard cel­e­brates 75 years of jazz’ great­est record la­bel. In this, his third ar­ti­cle, Pete homes in on some of the gui­tar play­ers (plus one trum­peter) that have made Blue Note their home through the decades.

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Pete Cal­lard con­tin­ues his cel­e­bra­tion of 75 years of Blue Note gui­tar records.

This year sees the 75th an­niver­sary of ar­guably the most fa­mous and iconic of all jazz la­bels - Blue Note Records. In trib­ute, we’re do­ing a se­ries of col­umns cel­e­brat­ing some of the great­est artists as­so­ci­ated with the la­bel. In GT235 we in­tro­duced a ‘Blue Note Blues’ fea­tur­ing a cho­rus each on a jazz blues from some of Blue Note’s leg­endary horn play­ers, tak­ing in trum­peter Fred­die Hub­bard and tenor sax­o­phon­ists Dex­ter Gor­don, John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter. Last month we fo­cused on Blue Note pi­anists Bud Pow­ell, Ho­race Sil­ver and Her­bie Han­cock, with Jimmy Smith bring­ing up the rear on Ham­mond. This time, after a quick trum­pet stop-off with Lee Mor­gan, we’re mov­ing on to the string sec­tion, with no­table con­tri­bu­tions from gui­tarists Grant Green, Kenny Bur­rell and a more re­cent ad­di­tion to the Blue Note roster, John Scofield.

Trum­peter Lee Mor­gan (1938-1972) was a mem­ber of Art Blakey’s Jazz Mes­sen­gers and a pro­lific solo artist. Mor­gan’s Blue Note ca­reer lasted from his first re­lease, Lee Mor­gan In­deed! in 1956, un­til 1971, with a to­tal of 25 al­bums as leader. He also fea­tured on Blue Note re­leases along­side Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Smith, Hank Mob­ley and per­haps most no­tably, John Coltrane’s leg­endary Blue Train.

Grant Green (19351979) re­leased his first al­bum on Blue Note, Grant’s First Stand, in 1961 and stayed with the la­bel un­til 1966, re­turn­ing for a fur­ther five-year spell in 1969. Be­tween 1961 and 1965 Green played on more Blue Note re­leases than any­one else as leader or side­man, and in his ca­reer he ul­ti­mately fea­tured on well over 60 Blue Note al­bums, in­clud­ing 29 un­der his own name, plus with Lee Mor­gan, Her­bie Han­cock, Jimmy Smith, Hank Mob­ley and Stan­ley Tur­ren­tine.

Born on July 31st, 1931, Kenny Bur­rell re­leased his de­but al­bum, In­tro­duc­ing Kenny Bur­rell, on Blue Note Records in 1956, and con­tin­ued to record for them through the rest of the 1950s, re­turn­ing to the la­bel in 1985 and, most re­cently, in 2007 for 75th Birth­day Bash Live! As a side­man, Bur­rell ap­peared on Blue Note re­leases with artists in­clud­ing Thad Jones, Jimmy Smith and Stan­ley Tur­ren­tine.

One of the gi­ants of con­tem­po­rary jazz gui­tar, John Scofield (born De­cem­ber 26, 1951) stud­ied at Berklee col­lege and en­joyed stints with Gary Bur­ton, Gerry Mul­li­gan, Charles Min­gus and Billy Cob­ham/George

This time, after a quick Fred­die Hub­bard trum­pet stop-off, we’re mov­ing on to the string sec­tion.

Duke be­fore join­ing Miles Davis in the early 80s. Scofield joined the re­launched Blue Note Records in 1989, ex­plor­ing a more straigh­ta­head jazz style in three al­bums with his Quar­tet, fol­lowed by a move into soul-jazz ter­ri­tory with Hand Jive and Groove Ela­tion. He also recorded for Blue Note along­side fel­low mod­ern jazz gui­tar greats Pat Metheny (I Can See Your House From Here) and Bill Frisell (Grace Un­der Pres­sure).

Grant Green: one of Blue Note’s great gui­tarists

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