Various Artists

Blue Note Records Today

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Founded in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, Blue Note Records became one of the foremost jazz labels during the hard bop years, eventually becoming a division of EMI, which actually phased it out for the first half of the '80s before resurrecting Blue Note as both a reissue imprint and as a purveyor of new, young jazz artists. Several of those new artists are represented on this sampler of recent releases from Blue Note, and while it may well be impossible to compete with the label's classic back catalog, this set shows Blue Note isn't solely a historical footnote just yet. Among the highlights are the opener, "Gangsterism on Canvas" by Jason Moran, and the delightful "Los Guiros" by Chucho Valdés.

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