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Various Artists: The Blue Note Years

The Blue Note Years rivals The Smithsonian Collection Of Classic Jazz in scope and curatorial insight. Not only does this 14-CD box set celebrates 60 years of the legendary label’s singular achievement, it makes its name synonymous with an ecumenical, evolving jazz aesthetic.

Despite its understated presentation-the bound 48-page large format book is refreshingly free of self-congratulatory prattle, being exclusively devoted to the session photography of Francis Wolff and Jimmy Katz-the sub-text of The Blue Note Years is label identification: Blue Note means “the finest in jazz” in all its manifestations, from Albert Ammons to Us3.

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