The Blue Note 7

The heritage of Blue Note Records is hardly in need of more celebrating. From endless hip-hop sampling and record-cover homages to the in-store soundtrack at Starbucks, the sound of Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in the 1960s and that classic Blue Note graphic design now practically define jazz in the popular mind. And yet…holy CRAP those records are still amazing. If there’s one period in jazz I could live on forever, it’s that one, and I’m plainly not alone. The sessions from Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, and so many others sound less dated, to my ears, than much of the jazz that’s been recorded since. Today, Blue Note is still a mainstream-jazz powerhouse, and for its 70th anniversary, a band called The Blue Note 7—a septet of strong mid-career artists, led by Bill Charlap on piano—is touring with a songbook of great ’60s tunes. Charlap is a man of beautiful taste—anyone else, and you might want to avoid this retread outing. But these are some skilled straight-ahead players, and if their love of the material even approaches that of the audience, it should be a memorable night. MARK D. FEFER

Thu., Jan. 8, 7:30 p.m., 2009

 
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