Blue Note Records The Biography: Mission Statement and Sydney Bechet.

In today’s business environment it is business as usual that corporations submit mission statements to support their strategy and business vision. Blue Note Records was by far ahead of their time, also in this respect. In May 1939 Blue Note issued a flyer with a text probably written by Max Margulis, a committed left-winger who also put up the initial money to establish Blue Note Records. The text was as follows:

“Blue Note Records are designed simply to serve the uncompromising expression of hot jazz and swing, in general. Any particular style of playing which represents an authentic way of musical feeling is genuine expression.By virtue of its significance in plce, time and circumstance, it possesses its own tradition, artistic standards and audience that keeps it alive. Hot jazz, therefore, is expression and communication, a musical and social manifestation, and Blue Note Records are concerned with identifying its impulse, not its sensational and commercial adornments.”

Reading this after so many years, the only conclusion to date can be that Blue Note Records always lived up to this flyer text which turned out to be their mission statement, a mission statement avant la lettre.

On April 7 1939 Alfred Lion brought a six-strong group musicians in the studio which he named “”Port of Harlem Jazzmen”. The group included the soprano saxophonist Sydney Bechet, who would become worldfamous with his hit “Petite Fleur” later in the fifties. In below video you can hear “Pounding Heart Blues” recorded by this group with catalogue number Blunote4 6-A 1939.

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