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Wishing Blue Note Records A Happy 80th, With Adrian Ruiz

Justin De Hoyos
Adrian Ruiz, trumpet.

In 1939, a German emigre, Alfred Lion, teamed up with the American writer Max Margulis to found a record company that would have an outsized influence on the sound of jazz. Blue Note Records, and its signature sound of the 1950s and 1960s engineered by Rudy Van Gelder, lived up to its motto, “The Finest In Jazz.”

Musicians around the world have studied the Blue Note formula, and San Antonio’s own Adrian Ruiz counts himself as a fan, admiring the drive of Marguilis, Lion, and Francis Wolff, who joined the two men shortly after the company’s founding. “They just decided… it’s our duty to capture a lot of these real special musicians. They really took a chance,” Ruiz told Doc Watkins earlier this spring at a special 80th anniversary tribute show to the record label, held at Jazz, TX.

Ruiz counts the two-LP series “A Night At Birdland,” recorded in 1954, as one of his favorite releases on the label, and he and his band pay tribute to the album with their version of “Quicksilver,” by Horace Silver, plus three other Blue Note classics on this edition of Live At Jazz, TX.

Hear “Live at Jazz, TX” Saturday nights at 7:00 on Texas Public Radio, or get a preview by listening to the show in the audio player below.

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.