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Rudy Van Gelder is, quite simply, the greatest recording engineer in jazz history. A one-time ham radio operator, Van Gelder was initially an optometrist by day; as a hobby, he set up a studio in his parents' living room in Hackensack, NJ, and began recording local jazz musicians. In the summer of 1959, Van Gelder moved his operations to a larger studio in Englewood Cliffs and left his day job in favor of recording full-time. And the rest is history...

BLUE NOTE BLP 1595 Somethin' Else /Cannonball Adderley Miles Davis (tp) Cannonball Adderley (as) Hank Jones (p) Sam Jones (b) Art Blakey (d) Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, March 9, 1958

Blue Note Record's album covers for artists like John Coltrane have earned their place in design history. You can see why.

Thelonious Monk: Genius of Modern Music Label: Blue Note 1511,1 9 5 6 Design: Reid Miles Photo: Francis Wolff

Never even heard this LP by Stan Getz and Bill Evans, but what a glorious piece of graphic design the cover is! Larry Young / Unity - Blue Note Records