Blue Note means Jazz
Although the club only opened their doors in the early 80’s, it has the feel of a longtime veteran in the New York Jazz scene, which is a longtime veteran on the world scene of jazz since in the 1920s, when this aspect of culture got to be no longer a domain of Chicago. The first Blue Note opened in New York City's Greenwich Village in 1981 by owner and founder Danny Bensusan is now considered one of the world's most famous jazz venues. Other clubs in the chain are located in: Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan; Milan, Italy; and Seoul, South Korea. Various musicians have recorded live albums at Blue Note locations, including The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio Live at the Blue Note, Arturo Sandoval's Live at the Blue Note, Jose Feliciano - Live at the Blue Note, Mingus Big Band - Live at the Blue Note in Tokyo, and Live at the Blue Note by Stéphane Grappelli.
Jazz is undoubtedly America's music, and while Blue Note strives to preserve the history of jazz, the club is a place where progression and innovation - the foundations of jazz - are encouraged and practiced on a nightly basis. In addition to the main acts that feature the likes of Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, and Chris Botti, Blue Note has introduced the Monday Night Series and the bi-weekly Late Night Groove Series to showcase New York's up-and-coming jazz, soul, hip-hop, R&B and funk artists. Blue Note has been instrumental in encouraging the development of Greenwich Village's local musicians by giving them a chance to perform in one of the world's finest venues. Blue Note gives artists the musical freedom they deserve, and jazz fans get a chance to see the most unlikely combination of stars night after night on the Blue Note stage. The club attracts some of the biggest names jazz has ever known, and the abundant staff makes sure that when the music begins, the chatter--often in a dozen languages--comes to a dead silence. The booking policy is eclectic and often outstanding--Oscar Peterson didn't play nightclubs until the Blue Note threw piles of cash at him, and Cecil Taylor and Elvin Jones hadn't played together at all before a landmark series of recent late-night duets. The sound system is excellent, and every seat in the house has a sightline to the stage. However, in recent years, the hard edge that once was the Blue Note has faded. Softer, smoother jazz is the domain now.
The club is not associated with The Blue Note record label, although it does not mean there’s no record label associated with the Blue Note Jazz Club. A record label named after a jazz club, owned by a different jazz club, which is named after another record label. Confusing? Perhaps so, but that’s the story behind Half Note Records, the record company founded by the venerable New York venue, The Blue Note. It’s not like label president Steven Bensusan had the option of naming the endeavor after the club owned and operated by his family—that name had been claimed long ago by Alfred Lion. Black Note, High Note, New Note and Soul Note were some of the other notes that had already been played, so to speak. So when the club decided to launch a label back in 1998, Half Note seemed as logical a choice for a name as any. Half Note offers the new sounds from Conrad Herwig, Arturo Sandoval and Donald Harrison and more is coming soon.
Over the years, Blue Note has been an economic engine for Greenwich Village, bringing in jazz fans from all over the world. The club’s shows receive rave reviews on a weekly basis in New York's daily newspapers and the spot has its place in most of travel guides on NYC. It is visited by numbers of tourists while New Yorkers are a bit apprehensive due to high ticket prices. Although musicians are not hugely interested in spending their time in Blue Note since unlike other jazz clubs it has no Jam session or open mike nights it is not uncommon to see the likes of Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Liza Minelli, and Quincy Jones get called up on stage from the audience to sit in. The voices can be heard praising and reproaching the club’s properties, pros being usually the music, acoustics and food, cons – high prices, overcrowded space.
Located between 6th and McDougal St., Blue Note offers music every night at 8pm and 10:30pm. On Friday and Saturday nights, Blue Note has a Late Night Groove Series at 12:30am and offers a Sunday Brunch for $24.50 a person at 12:30pm and 2:30pm weekly. Expect to see world-renowned talent on any given day except for Mondays, which is reserved for exceptional local talent.