Blue Note marks 75 years

The Blue Note label celebrates its 75th anniversary with a series of shows at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club through 2014

Soho's Pizza Express Jazz Club is to host celebrations of Blue Note’s 75th anniversary, with a series of shows in tribute to some of the label’s artists lined up for 2014.

"The Blue Note Sessions" will each celebrate a classic album from the label's back catalogue, with confirmed performers including Empirical (pictured), Liam Noble and the Quentin Collins & Brandon Allen Quartet.

The label will also release a collections of reissues throughout the year such as Lee Morgan's The Sidewinder, Horace Silver's Song For My Father and Larry Young's Unity, as well as more recent albums by the likes of Medeski, Martin & Wood and Kurt Elling.

The first show at the club on Dean Street will take place on 22 January, with a celebration of Herbie Hancock’s 1964 album Empyrean Isles by MOBO award-winning UK quartet Empirical.

This will be followed by pianist Liam Noble and his trio with a tribute to Bud Powell’s 1953 album The Amazing Bud Powell Vol. 2 on 9 February. Says Noble of the album: "Blue Note records always combined an eye for the commercial with a sense of the 'new thing'"… The Amazing Bud Powell Volume 2 ... contains some incredibly ground-breaking composition amongst its more straight-ahead jazz readings and captures Powell at the height of his imaginative powers."

Other shows so far also confirmed are the Quentin Collins & Brandon Allen Quartet who will pay tribute to Wayne Shorter's 1965 release Speak No Evil on 30 March, and the Martin Hathaway & Tom Challenger Quartet who will play classic tracks from Ornette Coleman’s 1968 album New York Is Now.

Blue Note was established in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis. Originally focusing on trad jazz, the label began to associate itself more with modern jazz from the 1950s onwards. The Blue Note Sessions in celebration of its 75th year will continue monthly throughout 2014.

Find out more about the shows and book tickets online at

Sally Evans-Darby

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