Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, owners of Blue Note Records (date and photog unknown)
It is incumbent upon listeners who love Blue Note music to thank these men (and Rudy Van Gelder!) for helping produce the music and imagery we hold so dear. These two gentlemen—along with the many extraordinary musicians who came through their doors—helped set a new standard for American jazz music.
Freddie Hubbard - But Beautiful (1960)
From the Hardbop Homepage tribute to Tina Brooks:
It was Ike Quebec who introduced him to Freddie Hubbard. “Ike Quebec introduced me to Tina at the 845 Club. Ike also introduced me to Alfred Lion. I loved Tina. He had a nice feeling. I got into him before I got into Hank (Mobley). He would write shit out on the spot and it would be beautiful. He wrote “Gypsy Blue” for me on the first record and I loved it. I just loved it. Tina made my first record date wonderful. He wrote and played beautifully. What a soulful, inspiring cat. I loved him.”
Freddie’s session took place on June 19, 1960. And Tina did play beautifully. He also wrote “Open Sesame” and “Gypsy Blue” and arranged “But Beautiful.” Exactly one week later, Tina made his second album True Blue and Freddie Hubbard was the trumpeter. Both albums were released that fall.
Tina Brooks was a shooting star in the jazz night sky who burned out way too soon. Catch him blowing one of the all-time great tenor sax solos on his composition “Street Singer,” which appears on Jackie McLean’s Jackie’s Bag.
Alfred Lion and Dexter Gordon during Gordon’s Clubhouse session, Englewood Cliffs NJ, May 27 1965 (photo by Francis Wolff)
[Left to right] Grachan Moncur III (in front of producer Alfred Lion), Jackie McLean, and Duke Pearson (present, did not play) at Moncur’s Evolution session, Englewood Cliffs NJ, November 21 1963
(photo by Francis Wolff)
Stills of Grant Green (with Herbie Hancock and Alfred Lion) during the recording of Feelin’ The Spirit, Englewood Cliffs NJ, December 21 1962 (photos by Francis Wolff)