Blue Note Records

Recent Articles

Shades of Blue, Madlib Invades Blue Note available on vinyl May 27th

Shades of Blue – Madlib Invades Blue Note (originally released June, 2003) will be re-released on newly remastered vinyl on May 27th as part of Blue Note’s 75th Anniversary Vinyl Initiative. “Two years ago, we decided to begin remastering the jewels of the Blue Note catalog in hi-def resolutions of 96k and 192k. In order to develop a guiding artistic philosophy for this delicate endeavor, we donned our lab coats, ran dozens of sonic experiments and carefully referenced every generation of our reissues. Ultimately, we decided that our goal would be to protect the original intentions of the artists, producers and engineers who made these records and that, in the case of pre-digital-era albums, these intentions were best represented by the sound and feel of their first-edition vinyl releases. Working with a team of dedicated and groovy engineers, we found a sound that both captured the feel of the original records while maintaining the depth and transparency of the master tapes… Continue Reading →

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Hometown talent José James returns to the Cedar

José James and Kris Bowers return to the Cedar Cultural Center on Monday, April 21. Consider this an invitation to enjoy more new music from two young and gifted musicians with new albums.


But this is not just a fantastic reintroduction of two talented artists. It’s a fantastic way to explore music from two men who are potentially on their way to becoming huge influential musicians in the future.  



In January 2013, James played an album-release show with Bowers on keys, but this time around, the Minneapolis-born, Brooklyn-based vocalist will play a pre-album release show to support his upcoming June 10 release, While You Were Sleeping on Blue Note Records, with Bowers opening the gig. His new album is Heroes + Misfits on Concord Records. Continue Reading →

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Memorable musical moments from 2013


People have a huge thirst for connection. How well a song or an experience stays with you can be as easy as answering the question, does this art have resonance, or not? If I were to put together a musically inspired compilation of this year’s wide sampling of recorded music that I’ve heard and the live music that I’ve experienced this year, it would include an amazing group of talented artists who continue to challenge themselves as they give us something creative and personal. As I surf the memories of my mind from this year I can’t help but start at the beginning. To kick off 2013 in spectacular fashion was Minneapolis native and Blue Note Records artist Jose James who performed music
from his album No Beginning No End. Continue Reading →

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This week’s Entertainment spotlights


Through Sun., Jan. 27,  7:30 pm
Pantages Theatre
710 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.

Aida is a contemporary spin on Giuseppe Verdi’s grand opera about love and hate, slavery and freedom, war and peace. It stars Austene Van and Jared Oxborough as lovers Aida and Radames, along with T. Mychael Rambo, Ben Bakken, Cat Brindisi, and Nathan Barlow. The company also includes several University of Minnesota theater and dance students. Continue Reading →

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New music, new events and a dedication for 2013


Welcome to 2013. “When you’re moving in the positive, your destination is the brightest star,” Stevie Wonder sings, and so there it is, the goal for 2013. Looking ahead, here are some news items to help usher in your 2013 in a terrific and positive way. Plus, my top albums of 2012.  

It’s Miller Time — sort of

“Miller Time” premiered Sunday, January 6, on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Continue Reading →

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New music includes an early look at 2013 releases


Early next year, the legendary jazz label Blue Note Records is set to release two new albums from two legendary artists, Aaron Neville and Wayne Shorter. Now the label is busy promoting both artists and albums via touring and television. Shorter has even written a new piece composed for Esperanza Spalding, who recently won a 2012 Soul Train Music Award. Adding to the highly anticipated upcoming 2013 release schedule thus far, the Concord-Telarc division has released an impressive list of some new 2013 releases of their own. But wait: Helping to round out this year’s crop of new releases is one from ArtistShare featuring the Clayton brothers with friends. Continue Reading →

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Ronnie Laws and Tom Browne: Jazz-funk giants joined forces at Dakota

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


“Always There” (1975) and “Funkin’ for Jamaica” (1979) are legendary songs for Ronnie Laws and Tom Browne, respectively. A member of a musical family — brother Hubert Laws on flute and sisters Eloise Laws and Debra Laws as vocalists —Ronnie taught himself the alto sax at age 11, and he studied music both in high school and at Stephen F. Austin and Texas Southern Universities. He relocated from his native Texas to Los Angeles in 1970, and after receiving his formative training with jazz pianist Walter Bishop, Jr. and organist Doug Cann, Laws also worked with such legends as the Jazz Crusaders and Hugh Masekela. Before signing a solo record deal with Blue Note Records in the mid-1970s, Laws also was an early member of Earth, Wind and Fire. Produced by the Crusaders’ Wayne Henderson, Laws’ breakout debut album, Pressure Sensitive (1975), featured his first hit “Always There.” That song is considered one of the most popular crossover hits of the late 1970s and sounds just as fresh today. Continue Reading →

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