Blue Note Records: The Biography (1)

On January 6 1939, Alfred Lion a German citizen supervised his first studio recording in New York. It was a winter’s sunny day and in the small studio he hired he had arranged for plenty of bourbon and Scoth for the two musicians he was about to record.

As a teenager Lion had visited the US two times before he permantly started to live in New York. He got acquainted with jazz music in Germany and travelled two times to New York where he made a living by taking small jobs in the harbour. From the money he saved he bought jazz records which he brought back to Germany. In 1937 he and his family moved permanently to the US where he started to work for an import-export firm.

On December 23 1938, Alfred Lion went to a sold out concert in Carnegie Hall, titled From Spirituals to Swing presenting all kinds of music styles ending with a concert by the Count Basie Orchestra. Among the  musicians who performed were two boogie woogie pianists by then name of Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis. Lion was so enthusiastic that he decided to make his first recording with these two boogie woogie phenomenons.

Article based on Richard Cook’s “Blue Note Records”, The Biography, Justin, Charles & Co Publishers – to be continued.

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