Pop Culture & Performing Arts

Blue Note

Black-and-white photographs oozing with cool immortalize the performances and offstage lives of more than 100 famed jazz musicians who forged Blue Note Records’ legendary reputation. Blue Note Records—cofounded in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff—is dedicated to recording the greatest musicians in jazz history. Wolff’s photographs taken from 1948–69 catch the stars in action: performing onstage, in recording sessions, or cutting stylish silhouettes around town. This curated selection includes jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Art Blakey, Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, and many more. Each photograph is identified by subject, session or album being cut, and date; and the featured artists are indexed for easy reference. The intimate and candid photographs—often used to illustrate the label’s iconic album covers—recount the label’s dazzling seventy-five-year saga.

About The Author

Michael Cuscuna is a jazz musician and producer and a music journalist. Francis Wolff’s heir, he has managed Blue Note Records since 1984. Francis Wolff, photographer and producer, cofounded Blue Note Records; many of the label’s albums feature his portraits.

  • Publish Date: October 06, 2015
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Music - Genres & Styles - Jazz
  • Publisher: Flammarion
  • Trim Size: 9-1/2 x 12-3/4
  • Pages: 288
  • US Price: $49.95
  • CDN Price: $49.95
  • ISBN: 978-2-08-020220-8


"Blue Note is the greatest jazz label of them all, hence the numerous publications over the past twenty years. The thing, however, that distinguishes Francis Wolff’s photos from the images of two other great photographers — Herman Leonard and William Claxton — is that Wolff was always present in the Van Gelder studio when all these classic albums were being rehearsed and recorded. He truly captured the gestalt and essence of what makes Blue Note great."

"A dazzling selection of more than 101 photos of jazz musicians taken between 1948 and 1969 by the co-founder of the Blue Note record label."