More Blue Note Favorites, Courtesy of Downbeat

I did that post earlier today and mentioned that Downbeat had done a whole feature asking various artists about their favorite Blue Note records. I was able to dig up my copy of the magazine — I don’t have a subscription anymore, but I had purchased this one on the newsstand because of the cover. It was from March of 2009. The cover, as you can see, has Joe Lovano with his favorite Blue Note: Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Free For All, Blue Note 4170. It’s quite gratifying to see his picture with a vinyl pressing, and a mono vinyl pressing at that and perhaps even an original mono pressing. Inside, the magazine asked a variety of other jazz artists to name their favorite Blue Notes as well. Here are their replies:

Randy Brecker: Art Blakey, A Night at Birdland Volume 1, Blue Note 5037. They actually show the original 10-inch LP, but I imagine Brecker didn’t just single out the first volume, but the whole series.

Teri Lyne Carrington: Wayne Shorter, JuJu, Blue Note 4182

Branford Marsalis: Wayne Shorter, Speak No Evil, Blue Note 4194.

Nicholas Payton: Speak No Evil

David Sanchez: Speak No Evil

Greg Osby: Wayne Shorter, Schizophrenia, Blue Note 4297

Chris Potter: Wayne Shorter, Adam’s Apple, Blue Note 4232

Kurt Elling: Wayne Shorter, Night Dreamer, Blue Note 4173

Geri Allen: Herbie Hancock, Maiden Voyage, Blue Note 4195

Sean Jones: Herbie Hancock, Maiden Voyage

Terence Blanchard: Herbie Hancock, Speak Like A Child, Blue Note 4297

Uri Craine: Herbie Hancock, The Prisoner, Blue Note 4321

Matt Wilson: Eric Dolphy, Out To Lunch, Blue Note 4163

Dee Dee Bridgewater: Horace Silver, Song For My Father, Blue Note 4185

Dave Douglas: Horace Silver, The Cape Verdean Blues, Blue Note 4220

Bill Charlap: Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers, Blue Note 1518

Christian McBride: Joe Henderson, Mode For Joe, Blue Note 4227

Steve Turre: The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson Volume 2, Blue Note 1506

Kenny Washington: Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588

Larry Grenadier: Sonny Rollins. A Night at the Village Vanguard, Blue Note 1581

Gary Bartz: Sonny Rollins, Volume 2, Blue Note 1558

Antonio Sanchez: John Coltrane, Blue Trane, Blue Note 1577

Ben Allison: Andrew Hill, Black Fire, Blue Note 4151

Mulgrew Miller: Freddie Hubbard, Ready For Freddie, Blue Note 4085

Robin Eubanks: McCoy Tyner, The Real McCoy, Blue Note 4264

Conrad Herwig: Larry Young, Unity, Blue Note 4221

Patricia Barber: Sheila Jordan, Portrait of Sheila, Blue Note 9002

Jason Moran: Bobby Hutcherson, Dialogue, Blue Note 4198

There were a couple of other they were weird and I didn’t include them. If you’re like me, you probably haven’t even heard of half the musicians that are quoted here. I will tell you my finalists:

Art Blakey Buhaina’s Delight

Art Blakey Blue Note 4003

Freddie Redd, Shades of Redd

Horace Silver, Blowin’ The Blues Away

John Coltrane, Blue Trane

Dexter Gordon, Our Man in Paris

Donald Byrd, A New Perspective

At this point, the very strong lean is toward Buhaina’s Delight, but I might put a few others on the turntable today, since it looks like it’s going to be a nice snow day in New York. But, at least I’ve narrowed the field to My Seven Favorite Blue Notes. For now, at least.


  • Blue Note Favorites. How can any Blue Note jazz “maven” forget the”Heavyweight Champion” Hank Mobley? Soul Station, Roll Call, 1568, Workout and all the others belong on Mt. Rushmore. Did the musicians forget about the great Lee Morgan? I suppose not being with us for 40 years deteriates ones legendariness.

  • Hey, Robert. Welcome to the site. You think it’s easy, huh? How about you pick one — just one?

  • Lots of love for Wayne Shorter in the DOWNBEAT lists… I’ve only heard SPEAK NO EVIL, and it’s a killer. I’m more familiar with his Jazz Messenger work. You can’t go wrong with any of those records.

    Favourites from my collection:
    Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else
    Grant Green – Idle Moments
    Art Blakey – Moanin’
    Lee Morgan – Search For a New Land
    Duke Pearson – The Phantom

    Ones I’m desperate to find 😛
    Kenny Dorham – Afro-Cuban
    Hank Mobley – Soul Station
    Larry Young – Unity

  • So many great sounding LPs filled with great music. For me, in no particular order —

    Silver — Blowin’ the Blue Away

    Silver — Cape Verdean Blues

    Drew — Undercurrent

    Adderley — Somethin’ Else

    Mobley — Soul Station

  • Soul Station !!

    The Phantom !!

    A Fickle Sonance !!

    Unity !!

    Idle Moments !!

    Workout !!

    Speak No Evil !!

  • A Fickle Sonance
    Look Out !
    The Phantom
    Soul Station
    Speak No Evil
    Mode For Joe
    Idle Moments
    Maiden Voyage
    Speak Like a Child

    Are among my favourite BN Albums. Order of the list does not matter !!

  • in no particular order:

    Art Blakey Moanin’
    Cecil Taylor Unit Structures
    Lee Morgan 4157 Sidewinder
    Kenny Burrell 4123 Midnight Blue
    Eric Dolphy 4163 Out to Lunch
    Horace Silver Cape 4220 Verdean Blues
    Horace Silver 4185 Song for my Father

  • Al: You’re 100% right. Arguably there are 30″classic” Blue Notes. Try to pick one from these ten: Mobley Soul Station Hubbard Open Sesame Brooks True Blue Sabu Paolo Freddie Jackson Hootin ‘n Tootin Lee Morgan The 3 C’s Candy, The Cooker City Lights Bud Time Waits McLean Swing, Swang Swingin Blakey Moanin

  • Out to Lunch
    Cool Struttin
    Blue Train
    One Flight Up
    Action Action Action

  • glad to see some serious Wayne Shorter representation above!

    Speak No Evil, hands down.

    contenders for second and third

    WS -Schizophrenia
    Larry Young- Unity
    Joe Henderson – Mode for Joe

    Honorary status…love it critically, but don’t listen often:

    Out to Lunch

  • Nice to see ‘Scizophrenia’ getting some cred at last. That one is seriously under-rated !

  • oh and…

    Hutcherson/Land – San Francisco.

    Skirting the edges of material usually covered here, but still a nice record.

  • Oh,man. Asking a jazzhead for his ONE favorite Blue Note is a thankless task-or,as the former Prez(not Lester)might say “Can’t do it-wouldn’t be prudent!”,but I’ll try. For me,it’s a toss-up between Adams Apple and Cape Verdean Blues. With the killer original version of Wayne’s “Footprints” and an exuberant “El Gaucho”(what a groove the trio gets going during Herbie’s solo),this one gets a lot of spins,cd or otherwise. As for CVB,it’s a PERFECT example of what Al noted recently-how the best Blue Notes work as a UNIFIED concept:from design(what a cover),to sound,writing and overall conception. Having some of the best recorded work from Silver,Joe Henderson,Woody Shaw and JJ Johnson doesn’t hurt either. When was the last time you heard an album with this level of musicianship? Incidentally,”previously unreleased” sessions in the BN canon often don’t make it for me for that reason. They often don’t “jell” as a package,and the OVERALL level of playing can’t compete with the best of the best,which these two sessions represent. Few releases can.

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