Music review: The Best of Blue Note Volume 2

By Tony Nielsen

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Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins

Way back in 1939, Blue Note Records was established to chronicle the classic jazz acts of the period. In 1947 its focus took a radical U-turn as it adopted what was cool in modern jazz.

Blue Note became a trailblazer for the new pathway the genre embarked on and this compilation is an exciting reflection of the label's dedication to its development.

An exploration of Blue Note's vaults has come up with a stunning sample of what the label did best.

The focus is directed heavily to hard bop, with Lee Morgan's Rumproiler, Horace Silver's Senor Blues, Dexter Gordon's Three O'Clock in the Morning and the brilliant Herbie Hancock emblem Watermelon Man.

In the mix is saxophonist Sonny Rollins (pictured), Art Blakey and the title track to Cannonball Adderley's jazz classic, Somethin' Else.

As an introduction to the genre's most comprehensive archive of modern classics, The Best of Blue Note: Volume 2 is outstanding. Turn it up loud and enjoy tunes that still cut the mustard in 2014.

Then check out the individual artists' own albums from Blue Note.Tony Nielsen

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