Of all the thousands of labels that have operated since the advent of recorded music, only a handful can be considered truly iconic. Blue Note, founded in 1939 by Alfred Lion, certainly falls in that category. For decades it was synonymous with jazz, recording the likes of Bud Powell, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis. When Horace Silver created hard bop in the 1950s, it became Blue Note's signature sound. Although the label died after a succession of acquisitions during the disastrous '70s, it was revived in 1984 and reasserted its reputation. So this tour celebrates both the 70th anniversary of Blue Note's founding and the 25th anniversary of its relaunch, featuring an all-star outfit dubbed the Blue Note 7 and a repertoire that widely embraces the label's history. Led by pianist Bill Charlap, the 7's impressive lineup includes tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton, bassist Peter Washington, drummer Lewis Nash, alto saxophonist/flutist Steve Wilson, and guitarist Peter Bernstein. The group recorded an album, Mosaic, that's a snapshot of what they'll do in concert: taking classics by the likes of Monk, Silver, McCoy Tyner, and Herbie Hancock, twisting them in intriguing new arrangements by band members, and playing them with a definite touch of reverence, but more important, a restless energy that makes them pulse with vitality. All ages.
Sun., March 29, 2 p.m., 2009