THE BLUE NOTE 7: ‘Mosaic: A Celebration Of Blue Note’ (Label: Blue Note)

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THE BLUE NOTE 7: 'Mosaic: A Celebration Of Blue Note'

It was eight decades ago that German-Jewish émigrés and jazz aficionados Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff escaped Hitler’s Nazis to establish Blue Note Records in New York City. By the 1950s, Blue Note had become the hippest label in jazz. To mark the auspicious occasion of the label’s 70th birthday, Blue Note custodians and producers Michael Cuscuna and Eli Wolf assembled a septet led by pianist Bill Charlap that comprised contemporary jazz luminaries Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Steve Wilson (alto sax/flute), Ravi Coltrane (tenor sax), Peter Bernstein (guitar), Peter Washington (bass) and Lewis Nash (drums). Kicking off with a spirited rendition of the Cedar Walton-penned Jazz Messengers’ favourite, ‘Mosaic,’ the jazz supergroup brings an imaginative post-bop sensibility to bear on tasteful and vibrant interpretations of classic Blue Note tunes by Herbie Hancock (‘Dolphin Dance’), McCoy Tyner (‘Search For Peace’), Joe Henderson (‘Inner Urge’), Horace Silver (‘The Outlaw’), and Thelonious Monk (‘Criss Cross’). Completing the set are sterling contemporary versions of Duke Pearson’s ‘Idle Moments’ – famously recorded by guitarist Grant Green – and vibraphone maestro Bobby Hutcherson’s ‘Little B’s Poem.’ A classy homage to the most iconic label in jazz.
(CW) 4/5