Sunday, July 3, 2022

VA - The Blue Box, Blue Note's Best [1997] (4 x CD's)



VA - The Blue Box, Blue Note's Best [1997] (4 x CD's)

This compilation, produced by EMI Canada, is a very good way for a novice to sample the wide variety of music and artists on one of the great Jazz labels of all time. The recordings are culled from the various "Best of the Blue Note Years" collections that the label released during the 1990's. The recordings span a period of over 50 years, from Sidney Bechet's seminal 1939 recording of "Summertime" to John Scofield's 1993 "Message to My Friend". Of course, when you mine a vault as rich as Blue Note's, you virtually cannot miss in coming up with true classic music. However, some of the selections are questionable (e.g. only one cut each from Jimmy Smith and Art Blakey, but we get two middling funk exercises from Donald Byrd?) and the sequencing at times is a bit jarring (e.g. from Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil" right into Grant Green's "Sookie, Sookie"). These however, are relatively minor complaints. Overall, I would recommend this collection for anyone who wants an overview of what made Blue Note great; but beware! This collection may end up costing you a lot more, as it will most likely whet your appetite for more great things from the artists who are only sampled here! (Amazon)


Pt.1  Pt.2   


Track lists


01 Art Blakey Dat' Dere 8:50

02 Herbie Hancock Maiden Voyage 7:59

03 Kenny Burrell Day Dream 5:02

04 Sidney Bechet Summertime 4:14

05 Kenny Dorham Una Mas 15:19

06 Mccoy Tyner The Wanderer 7:49

07 Lou Donaldson Blues Walk 6:47

08 Donald Byrd Black Byrd 7:22

09 Stanley Jordan Eleanor Rigby 7:01


01 Miles Davis It Never Entered My Mind 4:05

02 Bobby Mcferrin Turtle Shoes 3:35

03 Herbie Hancock Cantaloupe Island 5:34

04 Dexter Gordon Three O'clock In The Morning 5:45

05 Thelonious Monk Straight No Chaser 3:00

06 John Coltrane Blue Train 10:43

07 Carmen Mcrae A Child Is Born 3:28

08 Jay Jay Johnson Viscosity (Alternate Take) 4:23

09 Horace Silver Senor Blues 7:06

10 Bud Powell Collard Greens And Black-Eyed Peas 3:06

11 Hank Mobley Avila And Tequila 4:32

12 Lee Morgan The Sidewinder 10:25


01 Thelonious Monk 'round Midnight 3:13

02 John Scofield Message To My Friend 6:09

03 Three Sounds Stompin' At The Savoy 4:55

04 Donald Byrd Jellyroll 5:17

05 Jimmy Smith Back At The Chicken Shack 8:03

06 Wayne Shorter Speak No Evil 8:25

07 Grant Green Sookie, Sookie 10:59

08 Joe Henderson Blue Bossa 8:01

09 Michel Petrucciani Lullaby 5:17

10 Miles Davis C.T.A. 3:36

11 Sonny Rollins Decision 8:00


01 Stanley Turrentine God Bless The Child 4:01

02 Horace Silver Song For My Father 7:18

03 Wayne Shorter Footprints 7:32

04 Chick Corea Now He Sings, Now He Sobs 7:07

05 Lou Donaldson Every Thing I Do Gonh Be Funky 5:30

06 Freddie Hubbard Open Sesame 7:13

07 Grant Green Speak Low 7:13

08 Jay Jay Johnson Lover Man 3:58

09 Bud Powell Un Poco Loco 4:46

10 Dexter Gordon Don't Explain 6:07

11 Tony Williams Sister Cheryl 7:01




  1. The review to this is accurate, but even though I have probably 1000 Bluenote albums, there are some cuts on this that I do not have. Many thanks for this great collection, BB!

    1. Hi pmac,
      I sense you are a jazz connoisseur.

  2. I am not much of a jazz fan, but this collection may change things. Superb. Thanks, Butter Boy!!!

    1. Hi Eric,
      If this set is responsible for taking on the path of further discovery, then I am happy.

  3. You're welcome, copacetic47.