While nosing around New York, courtesy of only Streetview unfortunately, I found myself slightly underwhelmed by the absence of recognition of the three men who singlehandedly (is that an oxymoron?) made it possible for us to listen to some of the finest music ever produced since 1939: Blue Note Records.
Schmoozing with Obama at the White House was good for Sonny Rollins, but no-one would have known who Sonny is were it not for the hero’s of the recording studio. In particular, the man responsible for the unique Blue Note sound, Rudy Van Gelder, and the enterprise and vision of Blue Note founder Alfred Lion, and the iconic images of Francis Wolff. The legendary address 767 Lexington Avenue bears not a single trace of its history.
In London we are surrounded by blue plaques commemorating which historical figures lived where. Many buildings near the Palais de Festivals, Cannes, home of the Cannes Film Festival, are emblazoned with images of Hollywood stars. So step forward, Alfred, Rudy and Francis, your time to be recognised has come, at the place it all started, 767 Lexington Avenue, New York City.
Blue Note plaque on the wall, trompe d’oeil Blue Note founders, 767 Lexington Avenue, home of the finest in Jazz since 1939
More important Blue Note addresses are examined here.