Blue Note Album Cover Art – The Ultimate Collection

The Ultimate Collection
Blue Note Album Cover Art
(Chronicle Books – 2002)
by Matt Robinson

For over 40 years, Blue Note Records has been known for its collection of some of the best musical artists around. In this new softcover book, the label gets a chance to show off its distinctive visual style as well. Through over 400 full-color reproductions of album covers featuring the classic photography of Francis Wolff and the art design of Reid Miles (among others), this chunky tome chronicles two decades in Jazz history through a non-musical form. Arranged more by style than by artist or date, this collection also features a small coda of shots taken during some of the historic sessions that have made Blue Note the leader in Jazz recording. Despite its coffee table book potential, the book is more the size of a compact disc.

And as many of the covers are placed on the same page, the full visual impact is further diminished. Even so, in gathering a comprehensive collection of two decades worth of artistic expression, The Ultimate Collection allows music lovers and design afficionados to apprecaite the impact that this legendary label has had on both mediums.

© 2002 M. S. Robinson, ARR